Knights counting on Rediker's return

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

Frank Rediker's wonky knee has flared up again, but the London Knights are holding out hope their big defenceman can make it through the season.

The 20-year-old blue-liner missed his fourth straight game in Wednesday night's 3-2 loss to Kitchener. He was in Alabama for a consultation with Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon who recently repaired his oft-injured knee.

"He had some soreness, some swelling and inflammation, but it's structurally sound," said Rediker's agent, Mark Guy of Newport Sport Management Inc.

"It was a precautionary visit. He just thought now would be a good time to go down to get it checked out. He talked to Dr. Andrews and this was normal after that kind of surgery. He will be able to play with it."

After missing games for such reasons as the flu and "bumps and bruises," there was rampant speculation Rediker was sitting out because the Knights were trying to trade him. But London GM Mark Hunter has long said he would not deal a player who could be looked upon as damaged goods.

Besides, Rediker has a no-trade clause in his contract and can only be moved with his approval.

"I talked to Dr. Andrews and Frank's knee is strong," Hunter said. "It's day-to-day with Frank right now. He's coming back now (to London) and he should be able to play again soon."

Guy and Hunter don't expect Rediker to have to sit out every couple of weeks to rest his knee. But that doesn't mean the Knights aren't shopping around for more help at their back end.

"We need defencemen in general," Mark Hunter said.

Rediker, a native of Sterling Heights, Mich., was acquired by London in a trade with Windsor on Jan. 9, 2004, to give the Knights solid help on the blue-line during their stretch drive.

He has played 64 games with the team. In 24 games this season, he had a goal and 12 points and a sparkling plus-13 rating, second on the team behind rookie defenceman and usual partner Scott Aarssen.


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