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Ryan Lomberg Healed Up, Gearing Up for New Florida Panthers Season

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Ryan lomberg Florida Panthers Boston Bruins
Trent Frederic and Ryan Lomberg get together during the final seconds of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on April 19 in Boston. The Panthers defeated the Bruins 6-3. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

SUNRISE — Injuries sustained by members of the Florida Panthers during their march to the Stanley Cup Final has been well documented, but Ryan Lomberg was their first postseason casualty.

Lomberg needed surgery on his left thumb following Game 4 of the opening-round series against Boston.

While Lomberg was dubbed Boston’s ‘Enemy No. 1’ following his antics in Game 2, everything he did was done with a busted thumb that he broke “on my second shift” of Game 1 on a routine hit along the boards.

“The timing was unfortunate,” he said on Monday. “I was all jacked up for the playoffs and was bitten by the injury bug pretty early on.”

At the end of Game 2, Lomberg got into a melee with Trent Frederic.

After the two got together and traded punches, they fell to the ice with Lomberg getting his forearm around Frederic’s neck as they wrestled on the ice before being pulled apart.

The busted thumb played a part in what Lomberg could do in the tussle.

“I did what I could,” Ryan Lomberg said with a smile. “It was a makeshift cast then so I really couldn’t fight with it. Here comes the headlock. That was really the only option.”

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After being put in the chokehold by Lomberg, Frederic said he almost passed out.

“I was being choked a little bit, couldn’t breathe and maybe panicked a little too early,” Frederic said. “It was getting close there to where the lights were going to turn off there. I have never seen that one. It is what it is.”

As the injury worsened as the series rolled on, Lomberg was pulled from the lineup and had surgery before Game 5 — and ended up missing the Panthers’ epic 3-1 comeback against the Bruins as well as the entirety of the second-round series against Toronto.

Lomberg returned for the Eastern Conference final with a makeshift cast that he wore under an oversized glove.

“I was fully casted up which was tough, but at the same time, I was thankful I was able to be out there competing with my brothers in trying to accomplish our ultimate goal,’’ Lomberg said. “I was happy to be out there.”

On Monday afternoon, before entertaining a group of youngsters at the Panthers’ Summer Reading Tour at the Broward County library not far from FLA Live Arena, Lomberg gave a full ‘thumbs up’ stating he is ready to get going once again.

“With the quick turnaround, things are starting a little quicker than they usually would,” Lomberg said. “In my situation, I had a week off with no activity during the playoffs because of the thumb surgery so that was my offseason. As soon as the season did end, I took a week off and my body felt like I could get back after it again.”

Trent Frederic and the rest of the Bruins would not have recognized Lomberg on Monday afternoon save for the game jersey he was wearing.

Ryan lomberg

Florida Panthers forward Ryan Lomberg reads to youngsters on Monday afternoon in Sunrise as part of the team’s Summer Reading Tour. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

A group of about 30 youngsters gathered around Lomberg as he read them stories about hockey — including one titled ‘Goodnight Hockey’ — and answered the kinds of questions one would expect from little kids.

Lomberg, who at times bounced son Roman on his knee, answered every single question as best he could before posing for photos and signing autographs for the kids.

“It’s all about getting kids out and reading books,” he said of the team’s summer reading program. “We’re trying to raise awareness and get kids reading  and the more kids care about reading, the better it is for everyone. I am definitely excited to be part of it.”

The Florida Panthers’ Summer Reading Tour continues through August. 

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