The first full week of the new season is complete, and there are several new players who are dealing with an injury. These players will need to focus on their recovery and rehab to get back on the ice in a timely manner and prevent further damage.
Letís start with an issue that appears harmless but could linger for a while. Corey Perry of Anaheim left Saturdayís practice following a collision with Ryan Getzlaf. Perry apparently ended up with only a bruised tailbone, but anyone who has done the same can attest to the fact that this injury makes even simple actions, such as sitting, a bit painful. The injury can also lead to pain when pushing off skates or crashing into the boards, so expect Perry to get a couple days off before the Ducks re-evaluate his status.
Vancouverís Keith Ballard sustained a concussion in Fridayís game against the Kings and will miss a couple games. Ballardís injury does not sound serious, but you can never really tell for sure with concussions until the symptoms completely go away. It can be days, and sometimes even months, until a player is cleared to return, so hopefully Ballardís prognosis is on the shorter end. Another injured Canuck is Alexandre Bolduc, who is dealing with a high ankle sprain. To refresh your memory, high ankle sprains are separations of the connective tissue between the fibula and the tibia, and the main symptoms are pain and instability. Skating can be a problem because sharp turns put a lot of pressure on the connective tissue and create pain. Bolduc is expected to miss about 6-to-8 weeks, so donít expect to see him for a while.
Another player who is recovering from a concussion is Johan Franzen of Detroit; however, doctors believe his was only minor. Still, a concussion is a concussion, and as long as he has symptoms, he will not be playing any hockey. Like all players, Franzenís symptoms will be monitored to determine when he is healthy enough to be resume practicing.
Philadelphia Flyer Matt Walker will undergo right hip surgery and miss the next 10-to-12 weeks. Expect Kevin Marshall to see increased action on the defensive end.
Chris Drury of the New York Rangers re-injured his finger last Friday and will be out another six weeks. Fingers can be difficult to rehab because they are susceptible to further injury, so expect the Rangers to be a bit more cautious with Druryís recovery this time around. Another Ranger out with an injury is Vaclav Prospal, who underwent knee surgery Monday. Fortunately Prospal will not need any additional surgery at this time, so he could return to the team around the beginning of December if his recovery goes well.
Floridaís Jason Garrison is out with a groin pull. This type of injury can develop into a chronic problem and cause issues several times throughout the season, so expect the Panthers to take it easy with Garrison so this is not something that impacts him later in the year.
The injury list for the New Jersey Devils could probably be a separate version of this column. Anton Volchenkov is still dealing with head injuries he suffered after taking a puck to the face over a week ago. He has a stiff neck and is still being evaluated to determine the extent of his concussion. Volchenkov also has a broken nose, which is not as serious as the other issues but still leads to pain and difficulty breathing. Volchenkov will remain on the sidelines until the full extent of his injuries is known. Brian Rolston has a sports hernia, or tear in his abdominal muscle, that will require surgery. He is expected to be out 4-to-6 weeks, but it would not be surprising to see that timetable extended a bit. Lastly, Mark Fraser has a fractured hand that will keep him out 4-to-6 weeks. Hand rehab is simple: get motion back and regain grip strength. However, like the finger, the hand is very susceptible to re-injury because it is used constantly in everyday life and is made up of many small parts. As long as he stays out of any fights for the next few weeks, he should be able to return as planned.