As television fans of the mid-1970s know, the above was part of the opening narrative for The Six Million Dollar Man.
It came to mind Tuesday as Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Sami Salo discussed the quick return to the ice of the Senators’ $6.5-million man, Erik Karlsson, following Achilles tendon surgery on his left leg in February.
“Speaking to the specialist who operated on mine — he actually did (soccer star David) Beckham’s Achilles, too — he said it’s actually stronger than your other (tendon),” said Salo, who had Achilles surgery in July 2010. “It shouldn’t be susceptible to any more (injuries), but when you do explosive training, anything’s possible, with all the torque and power you put into different training.
“I’ve met a few track-and-field triple jumpers who had Achilles (surgery) before and they returned to form and jumped longer than before, so (Karlsson’s recovery) shouldn’t be a problem.”
Karlsson’s return to skating — he was back on the ice at the Bell Sensplex on Tuesday — has understandably generated plenty of buzz around the NHL. It was also on the tips of the tongues of Senators fans from Ottawa who were in the seats at the Tampa Bay Times Forum to watch Tuesday’s game here.
The Senators have offered no timetable for when, or even if, Karlsson could play again this season. Typically, it takes six months to return to action. Salo, a former Senator who was playing for the Vancouver Canucks at the time of his Achilles surgery, also took six months to recover.
“I probably skated after about 3 ½ months,” he said.“When mine happened, it sounded like somebody shot a shotgun in the area, with the tendon exploding. After the surgery, it really painful for the first couple of weeks, with the rehab was really slow. You have to be careful because you don’t want to stretch the tendon.
“If it’s loose, you’re screwed. I probably could have played a little earlier, but I didn’t want to take any chances at that time, especially being 36 at that time.”