SAN JOSE Ryane Clowe will not play on Tuesday night when the Sharks host the Columbus Blue Jackets, but it became clear after the teams morning skate that he is out only due to a facial fracture and not a head injury.
Clowe went face first into the glass on Jan. 10 in Minnesota, played in the next three games, and then sat out the teams five games leading up to the All-Star break.
When I came off the ice when it happened in Minnesota, thats what they asked me afterward when they knew there was something wrong, Clowe said. My nose was bleeding, but I didnt feel anything like that. I know I struck my face off the boards, but as far as my head and all that, that felt good. Right away, I had no issues with that. We flew after the game and that was fine.
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Clowe had not had any sort of baseline concussion test, and flew home to Newfoundland over the break.
He would like to play on Thursday night against Dallas.
I feel good, he said. I just want another day of skating tomorrow, and I think I should be good to go.
He would also like to make sure he can return without wearing a cage, as he did in the three subsequent games after the hit before he removed it midway through the Sharks game in Chicago on Jan. 15.
In other words, he doesnt want to have any anxiety caused by possibly re-injuring himself.
I guess the biggest worry is just getting hit there again, he said. I dont want to wear a cage obviously when I come back. I want to make sure if I do get hit there or if something happens like a fight and I get punched there, its alright, and Im not out another few weeks.
Another factor in the decision to wait at least one more game is that Clowe had not skated in two weeks before Mondays practice, and needs to get his game legs back.
Todd McLellan said: We want to make sure when he does go in, hes ready to play and play the way he can.