The Ducks have confirmed that winger Joffrey Lupul will miss at least the opening of training camp and could be out for the start of the regular season after suffering a setback in his rehab from a back injury.
Lupul played his last game of the 2009-10 season on December 8 and underwent surgery on a herniated disc in his back nine days later. He had a second surgery another week and a half later, after which a blood infection in the area was discovered.
Lupul discontinued his on- and off-ice rehab a month ago when he continued to feel discomfort and blood tests indicated the infection had returned. He is currently on antiobiotics and is under doctor's orders to refrain from physical activity over the next several weeks. He will be re-evaluated sometime around September 20.
“It’s really frustrating,” Lupul told the Orange County Register. "I haven’t played hockey in a long time. I was hoping to be ready on day one of camp. But now my focus has changed. I want to get rid of this. I’m very confident I can get back playing and playing well.”
In his sixth NHL season, Lupul had 10 goals in 23 games for the Ducks last year before shutting it down for the duration of the campaign. He came to the Ducks in a trade with the Flyers (along with defenseman Luca Sbisa
and two first round draft picks) for defenseman Chris Pronger and prospect Ryan Dingle.
“He’s expected to make a full recovery,” Ducks Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray said of Lupul. “However, he will not be able to train until he’s completed his cycle of antibiotics (on Sept.20). He will be re-evaluated at that point.”
Added Lupul, “It’s tough news. Obviously no one likes missing games, but I’m confident right now that they’re doing the right treatments.
“I’m in much better spirits. It’s definitely a tough road but also one of those things that makes you appreciate hockey that much more. In a sense I’m lucky they found this infection when they did. Right now I have to be patient, and sometimes that’s the toughest thing to do. Believe me, as a soon as I get the green light to go ahead and start skating I’ll be very happy.”