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Subban remains sidelined with neck injury

Canadiens defenseman won't play Thursday at Red Wings

by Arpon Basu @arponbasu / LNH.com Managing Editor

RAW: P.K. Subban - March 23

P.K. Subban on his health status

P.K. Subban addresses the media following Wednesday's practice in Brossard

  • 05:03 •

BROSSARD, Quebec - Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban will not return from a neck injury to play at the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN, RDS, SNE, FS-D).

Subban will miss his seventh game with the injury, which he sustained March 10 when he collided with teammate Alexei Emelin late in a game against the Buffalo Sabres.

"I've still got some symptoms from the injury and they don't want me back here unless I'm 100 percent," Subban said. "My thing is I just want to take it day by day and try to be patient. This is the first time in my career I've ever been out of the lineup for an injury, so every day that passes I get more and more anxious, but that's why we have the best training staff in the world. I trust in these guys."

Subban will travel with the Canadiens to Detroit and take part in the morning skate. He refused to speculate whether he would be ready for the Canadiens' next game against the New York Rangers at Bell Centre on Saturday.

"I've done that earlier, right after my injury I tried to target games and it just didn't work out that way," Subban said. "So for me right now, I have to put my trust in the doctors and let them make the decision for me. Once they see the mobility is at a place where I'm not at risk, I have to go with what they say. It's not really in my hands. I'm not a doctor. I don't know when I'm at risk, when I'm not at risk."

Video: BUF@MTL: Subban leaves game with injury

Subban said he is under medication to help deal with the discomfort of the injury, and he doesn't want to play while that is still the case.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien is hoping injured forwards David Desharnais and Sven Andrighetto will be able to return to the lineup in Detroit. Desharnais has missed 17 games with a fractured foot, and Andrighetto has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury after taking a heavy hit from Ottawa Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf on Saturday.

Their status will be re-evaluated after the morning skate Thursday.

Subban said his fate lies in the hands of the Canadiens medical staff, but Therrien suggested it is up to the player to determine when he can return.

"At the end of the day, P.K.'s going to decide when he's going to come back," Therrien said. "Players always decide. They know when they're ready to play."

Subban made sure to absolve Emelin of any blame for the incident, and made it clear he was at fault for putting himself in that position to begin with.

"I spoke to him after the game and told him to keep his head up," he said. "I mean, this should not be about him at all. If anything, it's about me losing my balance and running into him while he's coming to finish his check. He plays the game hard, I don't want him even thinking about that. He shouldn't have to."

Subban spoke for the first time since he was taken off the Bell Centre ice on a stretcher, casting a pall over the end of the Canadiens 3-2 overtime win against the Sabres. He said the only sound he remembered from that night was the pin dropping at Bell Centre because of how quiet it was.

"It was scary," he said. "I've always been taught not to stay down on the ice, to get up after something happens. In that situation, when you start feeling weird feelings in your hands and stuff like that, it's a little scary. Once [Canadiens head athletic therapist] Graham [Rynbend] came out, I knew once he was on top of me it was probably best for me to just stay down. They took every precaution for my safety."

Video: MTL@LAK: Subban puts Canadiens on the board with goal

Subban's parents were on vacation in the Caribbean at the time, and he made sure to send them a little message of reassurance while lying on the ice.

"The first thing I wanted to do, because I knew it was my neck, so I tried to move my hands and my legs because it's just scary that way, but also because if my parents and my family were watching they could see my hands were moving and stuff," Subban said. "It's a scary situation, but the good thing is there was no structural damage. Now it's just a question of pretty much getting my mobility back."

Subban's final message to his family, his teammates and the fans was to give a thumbs-up as he was wheeled past the Canadiens bench on his way off the ice.

"Just so everybody didn't lose too much sleep," he said.

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