I'm sure I'll be a little timid out there, but hopefully I'll get in early in the first few shifts, get banging around and get in some of the areas you might not feel too comfortable in. - Curtis Glencross
CALGARY, AB -- Curtis Glencross is the first to admit it’s been a trying season for the 31-year-old.
Having played just 21 games after missing two segments of the season with knee and ankle injuries, the 6-foot-1, 197-pound forward is ready for challenges -- both mental and physical -- when he returns to the Calgary Flames lineup against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
“I'm sure I'll be a little timid out there, but hopefully I'll get in early in the first few shifts, get banging around and get in some of the areas you might not feel too comfortable in,” Glencross said. “But you have to overcome that.”
It might be easier said than done.
Having missed 15 games with a second-degree MCL sprain earlier in the year and more recently recovered from a high ankle sprain that forced him out of 29 contests, the normally rugged Glencross admitted his toughest opponent to getting up to speed is himself.
“It's more the mental thing, the confidence thing, knowing I'm healed and recovered and all good,” said Glencross, who does have six goals and 12 points when in the lineup. “These games are important for leadership, we have a lot of young guys and have to keep building. These guys are the future of this organization and us veterans have to stick with them guys and help them any way we can.”
It can be equally helpful to the grizzled vet, too. Glencross’ injury bug bite extends back to last year when the Kindersley, SK native was forced to miss the final four games of the 2012-13 season with another knee injury.
With 17 games remaining on the docket for the Flames, Glencross has the chance to set an early, healthier tone for next season.
“He’ll have a chance to get back,” coach Bob Hartley said. “We want him to have a strong finish of the season. That’s the most important thing.”
Glencross knows it too.
“It's not the year I've wanted, injury-wise,” he said. “I've only played 21 games this year, so I want to take these last games and make the best of them to take strides for next year.”