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Waiting game

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- The month of March is likely going to tick by very slowly for Calgary Flames forward Brendan Morrison.

With his left knee still swollen from an injury sustained on Feb. 2 in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks, team doctors can't say for certain what the extent of his injury is.

"We still have some swelling in the knee," he said on Tuesday morning. "We talked about that yesterday and it's probably going to take another two to three weeks to get a solid evaluation.

"We're optimistic that I can hopefully come back but again, we're not going to know until everything settles down and we test it. We just have to wait and see."

The past six days have crept by at a snail's pace for Morrison. In between doctor's visits and medical tests, he's had a lot of time to think.

"I remember the whole play. I've replayed it in my mind a hundred times, wondering if anything could be done differently to avoid it," he said with a shake of his head. "It happens. It's a physical game and it happens. It wasn't a very dangerous play or anything."

It was an extremely routine play that has Morrison sitting on the sidelines. His linemate Jarome Iginla dumped the puck into the corners along boards. Morrison went chasing after it, corralled the puck and spun around the dish it off to a teammate. Blackhawks defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson came back to dislodged Morrison off the puck, checking him solidly.

"I wanted to turn in the corner on my forehand and I had all my weight on my left leg there. I don't know if it occurred right when I got hit by Hjalmarsson or when I hit the boards. But I knew right away that something wasn't right with the knee. I just had to get off the ice."

The pivot immediately tried to make his way to the bench, slowly pushing himself through the Blackhawks end. Trying desperately not to put any weight on his left leg, Morrison managed to get through a crowd of players on the ice without further injury.

"It wasn't easy getting off," he said. "What I've always done is tried not stay down every time I got hurt. It's not to be manly or prove that I'm tough or anything. It's just the play is going on and you've got to get off the ice."

With his team battling away in an extremely tight Western Conference playoff race, Morrison lamented the timing of his injury.

"I don't know if there's ever a good time to get injured, especially with the way things have been going with our team and we're right back in the race. As a player, this is the best time of year to be playing, jostling for playoff position. It's disheartening."

That being said, the veteran hasn't been spending his time dwelling on the injury. He's opted to take a more productive approach to his forced time off.

"I've had some injuries in the past and what I've realized is that there is no point in moping around or hanging your head. It's not going to change what happened. You have to deal with it, you have to face it head on, be positive around the guys and support the guys as much as possible.

"We've won the last two games, I haven't played. Our team's playing extremely well. We're right in the thick of things here and we have another big game tomorrow night. That's where all the energy is focused, on trying to support the team."

While there's no clear time table for when he can even resume skating, Morrison is ensuring he'll be able to return as soon as the doctor gives him the green light.

"Our strength guy Rich (Hesketh), he's got ways to make sure you're up to speed as best as possible. Obviously it's not the same as skating and we all realize that but we do what we can here off the ice to stay in shape."

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