FERNANDO FLIES HOME
Shortly after the Oilers arrived at the Thrashers' practice facility in the Atlanta suburbs, GM Steve Tambellini addressed the media outside the rink, providing an update on illnesses and injuries within the club.
Of all the updates he delivered, the most current involved forward Fernando Pisani, who flew home earlier in the day due to complications with colitis.
"He'll go see his doctor back in Edmonton," Tambellini explained. "I'm not sure what the next steps are for him, but his time away I would determine to be indefinite at this point."
Pisani's teammates were supportive of the ailing veteran.
"He's had a tough go and you can see the last couple weeks he hasn't been feeling 100%. You could see it in his face," Sheldon Souray said. "He's a big part of the team, but it's definitely best for him to get healthy and make sure he's 100%."
"He came back that one summer and was still figuring out how to deal with it --that was tough," Shawn Horcoff remembered. "But I think this time it's different. It's obviously not as severe. However he needs to deal with it. It's a matter of life and just your overall health."
After suffering a knee injury in Wednesday's game in Buffalo, Denis Grebeshkov will be out until at least the end of the month. "Grebby looks like he'll be a few weeks for sure with an MCL sprain, but we'll probably know better after this week," Tambellini said.
Tambellini did not have any new information on Jacques, who has been out with back issues since the beginning of the month.
"Kenny (Lowe, Oilers Athletic Therapist) has told me that he's not as stiff, a little bit more flexibility than what he's had the last little while, so hopefully he's soon. We miss him."
According to Tambellini, another player who is making improvements is Ryan Stone, who suffered a knee injury October 19 vs. Vancouver. "He's moving along well. Kenny felt positive about him before we left. He's been on the ice and we've been really aggressive with him immediately after he was hurt, so hopefully soon. He's progressing well."
With Grebeshkov and Pisani back in Edmonton, and young d-man Taylor Chorney still out due to a sore ankle, Tambellini admitted that the team may call up a defenceman from Springfield.
"It's something that you can't control," he said. "There's some different things happening but you have to deal with it. We've dealt with a lot in this past month though."
Potentially adding to the injury issues, Patrick O'Sullivan left practice early. There is no news on his status.
After practice, Shawn Horcoff declared himself ready to play on Sunday.
"I'm going to play on for sure," he stated."I think I was kind of close last game, but still the extra four days would be beneficial. Like I said, I'm feeling better and better every day. I'll be ready to go."
Author: Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com