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Status of injured Smid unclear

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Calgary Flames defenceman Ladislav Smid is in familiar territory. Unfortunately.

The 30-year-old hasn’t played since Feb. 17, and could miss the remainder of the season because of an upper body injury.

“There’s lots of precaution on Laddy right now,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “I don’t really know what to tell you, to be honest with you. It has been an injury that has kept coming back and coming back. At this time it’s more of a wait-and-see approach.”

Smid was injured in the first period of a 5-3 loss against the Minnesota Wild nearly four weeks ago.

There isn’t a timetable for his return.

“It’s too early to say, but at the same time the doctors, our medical staff, are working with Laddy on a day-to-day basis,” Hartley said.

Smid has played in 22 games this season; he played 31 games in 2014-15.

"I don’t know exactly what the decision is here, but it’s obviously tough for him," forward Michael Frolik said. "I was so happy for him when he got back to the game and he got hurt again. It’s tough for him, I guess. It is what it is. I just try to support him and talk to him and try to help him.”

The injury isn’t related to one sustained by Smid 14 months ago.

Last season, Smid was shut down in January, a month after taking a high hit from then-Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Simon Depres, and underwent surgery for the herniated disc in his neck. Smid sustained the injury on Depres’ hit in Calgary’s 3-1 loss on December 12, and played three more games scattered over the next five weeks, but eventually needed surgery.

It wasn’t the first time Smid had to deal with a neck issue.

As a member of the Edmonton Oilers, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound defenceman underwent an initial surgery on his neck after a 2010 injury.

Both surgeries were performed in Los Angeles.

“He’s in good spirits for obviously his situation,” Calgary centre Matt Stajan said. “It’s something you’ve just got to wait and see how his body reacts. He’s a really fit guy. He’s going to do everything he can to keep himself fit and make sure his body feels right and he’ll know if it feels right. He’s in good spirits. We live close to each other. We see each other all the time.

“It’s never easy going through an injury, especially to the extent his injuries have been. It’s scary, but he’s got a good attitude about the situation. You take it day-by-day.”

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