Already down one dynamic scoring winger in Teemu Selanne
, the Ducks will soon find out if Joffrey Lupul will be joining him on the shelf for an extended period of time.
|"Lupul is a candidate for surgery," Carlyle said. "We are not 100 percent sure, but it is a probability at this point." |
Following Tuesday’s practice at Honda Center before the team departed for Vancouver, Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said Lupul is a “candidate for surgery” to repair a back ailment that has caused problems off and on dating back to training camp. The latest flare-up has kept the 26-year-old out of the lineup since Dec. 8.
“We are not 100 percent sure, but it is a probability at this point,” said Carlyle on the chance Lupul will ultimately go under the knife to correct an injury that has limited him to 23 games played so far this season.
Though the pain originally sprouted near the end of camp, Lupul was not forced to miss any regular season action until he sat for seven games from Nov. 21-Dec. 3. When he returned, he was playing arguably his best hockey yet in his second tenure with the Ducks, scoring goals in three straight games (four overall) with a plus-four rating.
Prior to the start of the team’s current road trip, Lupul started to feel some numbness in his legs, possibly as a result of treatment for his back, and he was again taken out of the lineup. Now the forward with 10 goals and 14 points on the season must wait to see what his next options are to help alleviate the lingering issue for good.
“He was playing well for us,” said Ducks leading scorer Corey Perry
. “He’s a goal scorer and a great player. When he’s on the ice, it doesn’t look like he is favoring it at all. It has to be tough. If it does happen, he’s going to be missed.”
|“He was playing well for us,” said Perry of Lupul. “He’s a goal scorer and a great player. When he’s on the ice, it doesn’t look like he is favoring it at all. It has to be tough. If it does happen, he’s going to be missed.” |
Lupul will not be with the team when it plays at Vancouver on Wednesday and at San Jose on Thursday to complete the second half of a four-game road trip.
With some the injuries to their lineup and so many dates on the road the next two months, the Ducks were fortunate to be able to break up their current travel into two segments. After earning three points at Detroit and Columbus in back-to-back nights last weekend, the team came home for practice the last two days before heading out once again this afternoon.
“We had entertained the possibility of going to Vancouver from Columbus,” Carlyle said. “But we felt that we were going to spend 31 days on the road in December and January, so we didn’t want to add to that total.”
Said Perry, “It’s not too often you get to come home for a couple of days before you go back out on the road. It’s nice to have happen. Hopefully, we can continue the success we had.”Notes
- Trying to make his way back into the lineup from right foot surgery, Ryan Carter has been “delayed” according to Carlyle. “It’s not healing to a point where they feel he should stay on the ice,” the head coach said. “It’s just need a little bit more time.”
- Mike Brown skated with the team for a second straight day after leaving the game at Columbus with an upper body injury. “Any time a player skates and is not in a fracture situation than we feel he is an option for us,” said Carlyle of the forward.
- Selanne skated during practice, but the original prognosis (4-6 weeks) in his return from a broken bone his left hand suffered on Dec. 3 has not changed yet. “He’s ahead from a standpoint he’s skating,” Carlyle said. “There is a healing process that has to take place there. We can protect it and do all the things you need to do, but there is no magic fix to bones healing quicker. Some guys have that ability to heal quicker than others, but in reality this is something that is going to be at least four weeks.”