Orpik injury is not as bad as first feared
Share with others:
Judging from the injury news coming from the Penguins yesterday, Thanksgiving week might have extra meaning this year.
There is a good chance most of their six injured regulars will be back around that holiday if not before.
Defenseman Brooks Orpik, the most recently injured player, is expected to be out for about two weeks with an unspecified lower-body injury, and that's better than initially feared, coach Dan Bylsma said.
Orpik missed his first game last night when New Jersey visited Mellon Arena. He was hurt Tuesday in the first period at Boston but said it wasn't directly related to the hit into the boards he absorbed from Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart just before leaving the game.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain is probably about a 1. It's not painful at all. I'd probably risk further injury to something else if I played with it," Orpik said. "I was getting texts from all of my buddies about what they thought it was, and I haven't heard anyone come up with the injury I have. It wasn't from getting hit. It was something that was just bad luck.
"It had the potential to be a lot worse than it was. I probably escaped lighter than I could have. It seems like it's just one after the other here, with everyone getting hurt."
Orpik, too, was concerned he would be out for longer than two weeks, but now is going to push to get back as quickly as possible.
"I'm hoping two weeks, at the most," he said. "Hopefully, I'll take care of myself off the ice and work out hard, do a lot of rehab and get back as quick as I can.
"You can say injuries are part of the game, but, when you're out, you kind of feel like you're letting your teammates down and letting the organization down. When you're competitive, that's how you feel when you're not playing."
A rundown of the other injured players:
• Center Evgeni Malkin, who has a strained right (non-shooting) shoulder, has been cleared for contact and discarded the red, non-contact jersey for the morning skate. He could return as soon as tomorrow night against Boston.
"I hope maybe next game," Malkin said. "It feels a lot better. I took wrist shots and it's not sore. I feel great."
• Forward Max Talbot, who had surgery July 7 to repair a torn labrum in his left (shooting) shoulder, also traded a red jersey for a black one for the morning skate. He said he is at least 10 days away from playing.
"I got cleared for contact [Wednesday]. It's a big step," he said. "It just means I can go and do every drill, and if I get a hit, my shoulder's strong enough to absorb it. There's just some movement we want to take another step.
"I still don't want to aim for a game [for a return to action]. I'm trying to get it stronger and stronger."
• Defenseman Sergei Gonchar was still in a red jersey at the skate but had the cast removed from his left (shooting) wrist Wednesday and had X-rays.
"The bone healed well," said Gonchar, who wore a removable brace on the wrist for practice. "We have to work on my muscles. I have to build them back up again.
"Normally, it would be 14 days [after the cast removal]. Nobody knows how your body is going to react. So we'll just go day to day."
Gonchar is hoping to be cleared for full contact in about a week.
• Defenseman Kris Letang (right shoulder contusion) and winger Tyler Kennedy (groin) are not practicing.
Letang is expected to miss another 10 days or so.
Kennedy's status is perhaps the least clear. He missed three games, came back to play one game, Nov. 3 at Anaheim, was a late scratch for the next game, Nov. 5 at Los Angeles, and has not practiced since.
First Published November 13, 2009 12:00 am