Carruthers pained as old injury hurts team's chances

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

STEINBACH -- Talk about poor timing.

For all the success he's had on the curling circuit this year, an old injury squelched the Brier hopes of Reid Carruthers in his biggest spiel of the season.

The West St. Paul skip sat out both the A- and B-side qualifiers of the Safeway Championship at the T.G. Centre on Friday due to a injury to his left knee -- his sliding leg.

"Brutal, my worst nightmare," Carruthers said.

"It hasn't really bugged me all year but to act up right now to a point where I can't even get into a crouch is pretty brutal."

Third Chris Galbraith moved to skip and the team played with three in both matches because it hadn't listed an official fifth and turned down those on the local spare pool.

The threesome lost 10-8 to Beausejour's Jason Gunnlaugson in the A qualifier, then was eliminated by La Salle's Randy Neufeld 6-5 in an extra end in the B qualifier.

"I felt awful for my guys," said Carruthers, 25. "I felt like I let the team down, although it's not really my fault I got injured. We worked all year to get to where we are. To earn the fourth seed means we had a pretty good year and for us to go out like this, with three guys and the skipper sitting on the end of the bench, is pretty much my worst nightmare."

Made mistake

Carruthers admitted he made a mistake by not naming an alternate.

Instead of getting medical attention, Carruthers went to the Steinbach Curling Club and tried to throw flat-foot using a crutch. It didn't make a difference.

"My knee's been sore for a couple of years," he said. "I've been working out and trying to get my leg straightened ... But, for some reason, my first game here was great but it came up sore in the second game and I was just in excruciating pain. My knee kept locking up every time I got into slide position."

Carruthers clobbered West Kildonan's Doug Riach 7-1 in six ends in that second contest on Thursday.

"I played that whole last game in crazy pain," he said. "I could slide out to the 12-foot, then I was just pushing it. I toughed it out for the entire second game but (Friday), I just couldn't do it again."

It is suspected he suffered a torn meniscus.

"Yeah, it kinda sucks," said Galbraith, who soldiered on with second Derek Samagalski and lead Shane Kilgallen. "Losing our skip wasn't the worst part of the day. We had chances in both games but it's tough ice with just one sweeper."


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