|Nicklas Lidstrom shortly after he was struck in the ankle by Jan Hedja's dump-in shot in the second period of last Saturday's game. (Photo by Dave Reginek) |
It’s a play that Nicklas Lidstrom
has made over a thousand times before during his illustrious NHL career.
But this time as he pressed his heels and the back of his body against the half wall deep in the Red Wings’ zone the rim-around shot by Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda took a bad bounce and struck Lidstrom on the outside of the right ankle.
The unfortunate play will cost Lidstrom a few more games as he’ll miss Friday night’s contest against the Minnesota Wild and Sunday afternoon against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Lidstrom was injured following a neutral zone face-off won by the Avalanche when Hejda blasted a shot from center ice around the left boards and behind the Wings’ net with 15:09 left in the second period.
“It just hit me in that right spot, even though the skate is protected it's still going to hurt if you're hit right in that spot,” Lidstrom said. “I got hit a few weeks ago on the inside. That was different, not as bad, not as sore as this one is.”
Lidstrom only managed to finish Saturday’s game because he didn’t remove his skates during the intermission, which he’s done consistently throughout his 20-season career. Had he taken off his right skate he wouldn’t have gotten it back on, Lidstrom said.
But now Lidstrom is becoming a little concerned that the ankle could be more problematic than first thought.
“It's been almost a week now and it's still sore," he said. "I was hoping it was going to be a couple of days and maybe miss one game and then be back at it. It's been lingering longer than I thought.
“I'll take the weekend off and then re-evaluate on Monday and see how it is. It's been longer than I thought it was going to be, so we just have to wait it out see how it feels on Monday.”
The 41-year-old legend drove to the Detroit Medical Center, where he had X-rays, immediately after Saturday’s game. He had another X-ray taken on Monday, but both reports were negative. Lidstrom did not play in Tuesday's 5-2 win at Columbus.
Lidstrom’s diagnosis is a deep bone bruise, which until late this week, prevented him from putting a skate boot on without much pain. The swelling as subsided enough that he can at least put a skate on, but not without a level of discomfort.
“It was just too sore once I tied the skate. It was too sore to push off,” Lidstrom said. “When you're skating you kind of push off with your toes and I just couldn't push off. Just from putting the skate on, it's too sore to even push off, so there's no need to go on the ice when I can't push off.
“I'm not going to do anything with the foot for a few days and hopefully it'll settle down and we'll try it out on Monday again.”
If Lidstrom does come back for a 21st season next fall, he said that he would entertain thoughts of wearing the clear-plastic guards over his skate boots that more and more defensemen are wearing.
“It's something I'll take into consideration, he said.
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