'Whatever it Takes': Documentary follows McDavid’s road to recovery
EDMONTON -- A new documentary follows the recovery of Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid after a serious knee injury that threatened his NHL career.
On April 6, 2019, McDavid crashed into the Calgary Flames’ net during a regular season match-up.
“I thought my leg was in two pieces. I was just worried to stand up, I thought my leg was going to give away,” said McDavid in the documentary trailer.
The official diagnosis was a ligament tear in his left knee, but initial x-rays didn’t show how serious the injury was.
“His knee was so swollen that you couldn’t get proper pictures to determine what was wrong until a few days later,” said filmmaker Don Metz.
Metz documented McDavid’s recovery in “Whatever it Takes”, which is being shown on Sportsnet Friday.
The project was months in the making and extremely covert, Metz says only a handful of people knew about it. He didn’t even tell his wife.
“We were scared because we didn’t know what the end result was going to be,” said Metz.
“We never knew… like at one point it was career jeopardy.”
The film follows McDavid at a crossroads in his career.
He heard varied opinions from multiple doctors while facing whether or not to have surgery. His biggest concern was how his knee would respond and how surgery might change the way he skates.
“They had the surgery booked and Connor is a 22-year-old kid [and] had to make a decision in 24 hours,” said Metz.
McDavid went against the grain, and chose one of the most advanced non-surgical rehabilitation programs ever attempted by a star athlete.
“He naturally healed a broken bone. He naturally healed a PCL to come together. We have the animation that shows exactly what happened in there. We have the MRIs. We have all that,” said Metz.
McDavid’s decision saved his season, and the rehab program is described as groundbreaking.
The documentary follows him as he put in upwards of 10 hours a day into training and rehabilitation, hoping to play at the start of the 2019/2020 season.
He succeeded. Ten months later, the Oilers captain is back in the conversation as league MVP.
“He is a better performing hockey player now, and I’m heard this from many people,” said Metz.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Adam Cook