Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin says he feels fortunate to avoid surgery as he recovers from a neck injury that caused him to miss the final eight games of the regular season.
"Right now the most important thing is resting and letting it heal," Larkin said Wednesday on a call with reporters. "So I really do believe I got pretty lucky and I don't have to have surgery."
Larkin was cross-checked in the back of the neck during Detroit's 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on April 20.
"I was upset when it happened, obviously, was pretty hurt," said Larkin. "I mean, you could call it a 'hockey play' (but) I don't really ever see a time in a game where I wanted to cross-check someone when they're down."
"I just have to be careful and use it as a learning experience, that you've got to protect yourself, even on face-offs in different parts of the game."
Larkin said he'll be ready for the start of next season and plans to begin on-ice training by mid-June.