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Practice Report: Ducks Must Push On Despite Absence of Two Leaders

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

By Kyle Shohara

Photos from Practice

Although the Ducks returned to practice this afternoon, two of the club’s leaders remain away from Honda Center, recovering from what is being labeled as a viral gland infection. Francois Beauchemin and Corey Perry both started out with flu-like symptoms and have begun undergoing various testing. Results are pending.

“I still don’t really know what it is until we get complete information from the doctor,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. “We should know more tomorrow.”

Despite missing the past three games due to illness, Perry still co-leads the NHL in goals (11) and ranks tied for third in power-play goals (4). The Peterborough, Ontario native was coming off First Star of the Month honors for October. Beauchemin missed Sunday’s game against the Canucks and has four points (all assists) in 15 games this season.

Their absence from the lineup has been an adjustment for the rest of the squad, which is winless in its past three games despite earning points in each. “You’re taking the No. 1 goal scorer in the league out of your lineup,” said Boudreau. “[Perry] is a threat and a guy the other team talks about in the room. And you have your leader on defense [out], so that’s a concern, especially this year because he’s played so well for us.

“It’s unfortunate, but I’m sure they’ll be back sooner or later and we’ll go from there.”

Because of the risks associated with viral illnesses, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf says the team has taken the necessary steps to contain it. “Any time you have guys missing time like this, there’s concern that comes around your group and trying to contain it as much as you can,” he said. “Unfortunately, in a locker room, it’s hard to contain these things. We’ve kept those guys away from the rink as much as we can to let them get better and feeling 100 percent before they return.”

Cam Fowler
and Kyle Palmieri practiced today, and for Palmieri, today marked his first full session with the team. He has yet to appear in a game of any capacity (preseason or regular season) due to an ankle sprain suffered just prior to training camp. Fowler endured a lower-body injury in Friday’s game vs. Arizona and did not dress in Sunday’s shootout loss to Vancouver.

“Things feel good, and it’s an improvement each day here,” said Fowler. “It was good. Hopefully things go as well tomorrow, and we’ll make a decision when it comes down to it.”

Fowler says he’ll only play if he feels 100 percent. “You don’t want to put the team in a tough spot,” he said. “You have to look after your own health first to make sure you can be at 100 percent to help the team. Injuries are frustrating, and they always will be, but it’s how you deal with them that makes you the player that you are.”

Said Palmieri, “I felt pretty good and the ankle is coming along well. The conditioning is getting there. Right now it’s day to day, so we’ll see how the next couple of days go.”

Palmieri says he isn’t aiming for a specific game just yet. “I don’t want to put any pressure on myself to push through anything,” he said. “Right now, being vocal with the coaching staff and the training staff is key. Whenever they give me the OK and it feels good enough that I can feel confident out there, that’s when the season debut will happen.

“I’m just trying to listen to the body.”

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