The four-hour procedure was the second surgery in less than 48 hours for McCleary, who underwent an emergency tracheotomy Saturday after he was struck in the throat by a slap shot. McCleary also was treated at that time for a collapsed lung.
"My wife and I went up to see him before I came to practice and he was very upbeat," Canadiens goalie Jeff Hackett said after visiting McCleary at Montreal General Hospital.
"I went up to see him Saturday night and he was still sedated and then Sunday, I saw him and he was very scared, very confused, because he didn't know what was going to happen."
McCleary remains on a respirator in the surgical intensive-care ward at the hospital, but he is alert and is able to communicate with his teammates and other visitors by writing notes.
The tracheotomy prevents him from speaking and the operation Monday was the first step in assessing the damage to his voice box and planning therapy.
While McCleary will probably be taken off the respirator Tuesday and released from hospital next week, he faces a recovery period of about six months. In addition to speech therapy, he will have to cope with weight loss, because he is unable to eat and is being fed intravenously.
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