It looks like Darryl Yacboski won't be able to suit up for the Calgary Hitmen when they open the playoffs tonight. Then again, the rugged rearguard might just surprise everybody and decide to put his injured shoulder to the test.
The 20-year-old from Langley, B.C., is pretty much waiting to see what happens.
"It's not ready at this point but I've been working really hard every day to get it back and it could be anytime in the distance that I'll be back, if all goes well," said Yacboski yesterday as his teammates practised at the Saddledome.
"I've pretty much got to wait until game-time to make a decision.
"But strength and conditioning-wise, that's not really a problem right now. It's just tuning it up to make sure it's 100 percent before I come back."
Yacboski, who stands 6 ft. 3 in. and weighs 225 lb., originally hurt the shoulder in February and missed several games. He returned against Red Deer March 11 and promptly reinjured the joint.
"It's 50-50 right now. It's a day-to-day sort of process and it depends on how it goes and how the treatment goes," said Yacboski, one of the more punishing defencemen on the Hitmen blueline.
Missing the last games of the regular season and the prospect of missing playoff action doesn't sit well with the easy-going blueliner.
"It's one of the hardest things to do, especially going into the post-season stretch, but I've got to do what's best for the team and what's best for me," he said.
"I pretty much have a reserve seat in the press box and it's really tough watching the guys when you want to be a part of that."
If he can play, he'll bring some much-needed experience and toughness to the relatively young Calgary defensive corps, which would go a long way against the talented Hurricanes.