The Elbow staff
BOSTON, MA – Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is set to miss the next two months as he completes the final stages of his stretching to be medically deemed a 'giant'.
Chara, who without these procedures would stand just 4'10" tall, has been undergoing stretching of his bones, muscles and skin to increase his height since the age of 11.
As a six-year-old, he was told by doctors that suffered from a rare form of dwarfism, and that he would never reach the size of a regular adult male. It was at this point that his parents decided to enter him into the fledgling stretching program when he became old enough.
Doctors say the final procedure will add an extra six inches to his frame, leaving him at a whopping 7'3".
"This is a plan that has been in place for some time now," Bruins team doctor Ted Malone said on Sunday. "Zdeno has always thought he was never quite tall enough, so this is the final stage in a lifelong dream."
Head coach Bruce Cassidy said the taller Chara will provide the team with a great advantage in the long run.
"We'll miss having him around for the next little while, but once he's back he should be able to stand at our goal line and poke check opposition forwards before they even cross the red line."
"If this works out, we might look at stretching a couple of our other defencemen as well."
Chara’s current stick manufacturer, Warrior, says they've done all they can to create him a stick that works, and at this point they're just going to weld two normal-sized sticks together and call it a day.