Injury ends season for Komets’ Taylor Crunk

Taylor Crunk (By Blake Sebring of News-Sentinel.com)

Taylor Crunk (By Blake Sebring of News-Sentinel.com)

Komets General Manager David Franke said this afternoon that Taylor Crunk needs hip surgery and his season is over. The second-year forward has been on injured reserve for the last month because of a labral tear in his hip.

Crunk had more tests Friday which are expected to confirm a previous diagnosis. The injury will require surgery and a six-month rehabilitation. It’s the same injury which caused former Komets Brandon Warner, Nick Boucher and Vince Tarantino to need surgery, but all three were able to return and play.

“He’ll have surgery within the next couple of weeks,” Franke said. “If we do it now, he’ll be able to come back and play in the fall. It’s our intent to re-sign him for next year, and I told him that when I met with him. This is the best thing for him and for us. We get it taken care of and he’s back in October for the opening night game.”

Crunk, 23, came into the season having problems with his hip but has shown major improvement over his rookie season, earning a regular shift and work on the Komets’ penalty-killing unit. He has six assists and 64 penalty minutes in 28 games this season after getting four points and 120 penalty minutes in 42 games last season mainly as a 10th forward.

“It’s good to have the support, and we get treated top class here in Fort Wayne,” Crunk said. “It’s disappointing for sure because of the work that I put in and I want to help this team win. It’s a great group here. It’s a team that can do something special. At the same time, it’s encouraging that we’re going to get things taken care of and it’s the best situation in terms of the long run.

“It’s exciting in that sense that I’ll be able to move how I want and how I can. Skating and working is my game and to be able to do that at 100 percent is an exciting thought.”

Crunk said he didn’t know how the injury occurred but he’s been dealing with hip issues the last 2 1/2 years.

Maybe the best sign out of this injury? Crunk continues to be optimistic about his future and can’t wait to keep working hard, only on next season. His attitude is still his best attribute.

“This is going to feel like a fresh start,” Crunk said.

Komets coach Gary Graham said, “He’s a hard-working kid who did a great job coming to camp this year in great shape.”

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