By Matt VevodaAnaheimDucks.com
The Ducks injury report is getting to close to being free of sports hernia problems for the first time since both Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Samuel Pahlsson had surgery in the offseason to correct the injury.
With the Ducks having welcomed Pahlsson back to the lineup against Boston in the home opener, it appears Giguere’s return is in the imminent future with Sunday’s game against Minnesota being a possibility.
“If I have to put a percentage on it, I’m close to 100. I’m in the upper 90s. It’s a lot of progress,” Giguere said after Friday’s practice.
Although Pahlsson’s surgery on Sept. 7 took place a month after Giguere’s, the netminder’s procedure was more extensive.
“I got a groin release when I did my surgery and that is what is holding me back right now,” Giguere said, referring to a procedure in his surgery that was not part of Pahlsson’s. “Sammy only got the hernia surgery. My hernia’s been feeling great for probably over a month now. It’s just two different surgeries.”
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said the nature of the goalie position is another reason Giguere’s return is taking longer than Pahlsson’s.
“A goaltender is in a situation where he’s down a lot more and using those muscles actively. You’re talking about a butterfly goalie, he’s down there all the time,” Carlyle said.
Andy McDonald said all the Ducks are looking forward to Giguere’s much-anticipated 2007-2008 season debut when the time comes.
“He’s obviously a huge part of our team. He gives that extra confidence on the ice,” McDonald said. “We’ve had a lot of success with him in the net. Everyone I think elevates their game a little bit when we know he’s back there.”
Also of note on the injury front is the slight progression of the defenseman Mathieu Schneider’s broken ankle, which he suffered in the team’s second preseason game at Los Angeles on Sept. 15. While there is no timetable for his return, Carlyle said the news following a Wednesday x-ray was encouraging. “The x-ray is showing that there’s no displacement and it’s starting to heal,” Carlyle said after Friday’s practice. “He still walks with a limp, it still has the cast, but he is becoming more active. He’s started more of a vigorous treatment and more of an intense workout with some load bearing on it.”