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Monahan, Backlund injury updates

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames will hit the ice on Friday to kick off training camp.

They've already been hit with the injury bug down the middle.

Flames general manager Brad Treliving announced Thursday that Mikael Backlund sustained a concussion representing Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey, and that there's no set timetable for the centre's return to action.

"The good news right now is that part of our medical team is out in Toronto … Kent Kobelka and (Dr.) Ian Auld," Treliving said. "They're seeing him on a regular basis. Reports back are he's doing well. Like these injuries, he's under the protocol right now. It's sort of a day-to-day situation. We'll monitor. Mikael will be staying there the next couple of days with our group. We'll come up with a plan after that.

"He was doing good. He was feeling good. His symptom scores were low. But these are serious. You deal with them. You hope for the best. I spoke at length with Mikael yesterday. He was doing good. He's hopeful that things will move forward.

"At that point he's hopeful he'll be clear in a couple days and get back on the ice with Sweden. But we're going to be real cautious with it. The good news is our guys are there."

Backlund sustained the injury after taking a high hit from Team Finland defenceman Sami Lepisto in a round robin game Tuesday.

Treliving said the risk of injury is just the nature of playing in a highly competitive tournament.

"That goes with the territory," he said. "We've been treated to some tremendous hockey. When you have players that participate in this kind of event it's a great honor for the players, (and) the manager just holds his breathe every time they're out on the ice. Hopefully he's going to be fine. There's a risk for all those players to go. This is part of it. You hope it's for the best."

Backlund had a breakout year with Calgary, establishing new career-highs with 21 goals and 47 points while playing in all 82 games for the Flames last season.

He's not the only centre the Flames will be starting training camp without.

Sean Monahan, who is battling a back strain that forced him to withdraw from Team North America for the World Cup, will not participate in early on-ice sessions in Calgary for precautionary reasons.

Monahan, who set a NHL career-high with 63 points in 81 games last season, signed a seven-year contract with the Flames in August.

He was originally expected to be ready in time for camp.

"He's progressing," Treliving said. "He's doing well. We just want to be cautious with it. He's going to take the first couple of days and continue on some individual work. We'll get through the first little bit, probably at least the first three pre-season games. Our plan is having him available looking at those last three or four pre-season games to prepare him for the season. We just want to be cautious with him."

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