Rypien rarin' to go

KEN WIEBE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

Rick Rypien would like nothing more than to bust out of the infirmary and throw a bone-jarring bodycheck in a game.

But after dealing with his third severe injury during the past two seasons, Rypien understands that he'll be better served by resting his groin for a few more days before returning to the Manitoba Moose lineup.

"It's been tough mentally, but I've got to stay with it and I think I'll be stronger because of it," Rypien said before last night's game against the Syracuse Crunch. "You've got to be cautious about it and I've got to be careful."

If you've seen Rypien play, you'll know that the former Regina Pats captain goes all-out all of the time and that playing tentatively is not an option.

To say that Rypien, whose energetic style has made him popular with both the fan base of the Moose and the parent Canucks, has been the victim of bad luck would be putting it mildly.

Last season, in his fifth game with the Canucks, Rypien suffered a broken fibula against the Minnesota Wild.

In training camp this fall, Rypien turned heads with his boisterous play before injuring his thumb in a pre-season fight against the Anaheim Ducks.

'STRAINED IT'

And after finally returning to full strength and returning to the NHL in December, Rypien tore his groin in the first period of his second game (against the Edmonton Oilers).

"I noticed it right away. About a month before, I had strained it but it was manageable and I thought it was over and done with," said Rypien, who has three goals and six points in 14 games with the Moose this season. "It's something I will have to stay on top of for the rest of the year."

Rypien has been skating on his own the past couple of weeks and had two full practices with the Canucks before he was re-assigned Friday afternoon.

"I just want to get healthy and stay healthy so when I do come back, I'm ready to go for the rest of the year," said Rypien. "They didn't tell me to change my game at all. I've got to play the way I've always played."

Soon after suffering the groin injury, Rypien consulted with Tyler Bouck, who went through a similar injury last season.

"We both ripped (the groin) off the bone, but in different spots," said Rypien. "I asked him what the timetable was but everyone reacts differently."

Moose head coach Scott Arniel was hoping to have Rypien's services at his disposal last night, but is officially listing him as day-to-day.

"He's not quite 100%, but he's close," said Arniel. "He's way ahead of schedule so it's more of a precaution. It could throw him back three or four weeks if it tears again."


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