|11-02-2005, 10:35 AM||#1|
lets go partner
Join Date: Oct 2004
Hinote wants to play thursday
Hinote upbeat about playing Thursday
By Rick Sadowski, Rocky Mountain News
November 1, 2005
CENTENNIAL - The jersey that Dan Hinote wore during practice Monday pretty much summed up his mood for the past couple of weeks: Blue.
But the Colorado Avalanche forward was his usual smiling self after skating with his teammates for the first time at the South Suburban Family Sports Center since being forced out of the lineup because of back spasms.
The blue jersey meant he wasn't ready for contact yet, but that could change today or Wednesday, and Hinote might be able to play as early as Thursday when the Avalanche takes on the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at the Pepsi Center.
"Our trainers did a wonderful job getting me back, if you will," he said, emphasizing the body part that has been giving him problems. "It feels good, and hopefully Thursday I'll get the go-ahead to play. It's been a long time - too long. I'm optimistic."
Hinote, who has missed six consecutive games since playing Oct. 14 against Chicago, is grateful for the Avalanche's four-day break before the contest against the Ducks.
"It gives me an opportunity to get some practices and good skates under the belt," he said. "Hopefully, by game time, I'll be ready to rock and roll."
Back injuries are common for hockey players because of the physical nature of the sport, but also because they put a strain on their backs by bending over so frequently in a game.
"Bad posture," Hinote said. "It's just one of those things that over time is going to get worse if you don't do something about it. It wasn't any one thing that happened to my back, just the wear and tear."
Hinote said his back was bothering him before the Avalanche's Oct. 5 regular-season opener against Edmonton, and he twisted it during the game while getting tangled with Oilers defenseman Chris Pronger.
"(The medical staff) did some work on it, and then I'd come back for games and skip practices," he said. "It was just kind of a roller coaster."
Hinote eventually underwent a magnetic resonance imaging test and was given a cortisone shot to reduce disk inflammation, after which he needed several days to rest.
"That's what I was doing for the last week or so," he said.
Hinote has had plenty of injuries in his hockey career but never a back ailment until now.
"My back acted up a little bit during the lockout, but this is the first time I've ever had any disk problems," Hinote said. "The bad part about a back injury is that at any time it could hit you and at any time it could feel good.
"It's frustrating, but at the same time the guys have been playing great the last few games. That helps with the mental aspect. But it is early in the season and if you are going to have to take care of an injury, now's the time to do it.
"There's no sense trying to battle through it and having it get worse in the middle of the season. You don't want to need surgery on a herniated disk because you didn't take care of it earlier. It's just one of those things that we're trying to get done early and get it out of the way and then play the rest of the season."