Rediker injury cloud has silver lining

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

Though an arm splint will never be confused with a rabbit's foot or horseshoe, London's Frank Rediker feels his luck is starting to change for the better.

The injured veteran Knights defenceman was relieved to find he won't require surgery to repair a dislocated elbow suffered last Wednesday in Belleville.

With knee injuries sidelining him much of his last three OHL seasons, Rediker has come to celebrate the little victories.

"The swelling has gone down quite a bit the past four or five days, so I'm feeling pretty good about that," the 21-year-old Sterling Heights, Mich., native said. "If there was a break, it would've meant surgery.

"I was pretty upset when it happened. On the drive back (to London) from Belleville, I was turning a little bit white a couple of times there."

There is no timetable for Rediker's return, but he is expected to resume on-ice activities this week and, optimistically, could be back in the lineup before the regular season ends March 19.

Handling a stick remains his biggest challenge.

"I almost wish it was my right instead of my left, because as a left-handed shot, I need the left hand to put all the pressure on the stick," he said. "If it was my right, I could wrap it up and be out there playing now."

Rediker said he doesn't remember much about the blind-side hit he took from Belleville's Cory Tanaka that sent him crashing to the ice.

"I know I was looking up ice at the blue-line and landed in an awkward position near the boards," the six-foot-two, 205-pounder said. "It was weird because I can count the number of times I've been knocked down out there. I just got caught at the wrong angle."

London swept its four-game road trip to eastern Ontario last week, but the Knights know they require a healthy Rediker to play big minutes at the back end. Veteran forward Trevor Kell filled in -- and did a fine job -- on defence in his absence the last three games.

Meanwhile, forward Chris Ferguson was taken to hospital in an ambulance yesterday after suffering a concussion during practice.

"It was precautionary," Knights general manager Mark Hunter said. "You have to be careful whenever someone goes down on the ice hard."


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