Foreman injury worse than feared

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

Jordan Foreman can only hope the rest of the season is better than the first few months.

The popular London Knights forward suffered a high ankle sprain in Wednesday's win over the IceDogs in Mississauga. It didn't look serious at first, but the bad news came yesterday.

"Four to six weeks," an upset Foreman said as he got around the dressing room using a cane and wearing a protective walking boot.

"I knew right away that I'd hurt it."

The first game he will miss is tonight at the John Labatt Centre against the Oshawa Generals and John Tavares.

Foreman scored twice in his best game of the season Wednesday. But with about a minute left, he got caught in a scrum in front of his own net and hurt the ankle.

Foreman was going to be a key returning player to this Knights team.

He's a hard-worker who can score some and kill penalties.

But bad luck dogged Foreman even before the season began.

Foreman broke his foot in the summer during a training session, missing the first month of the season. His first game back against the Sudbury Wolves, he dove into their bench trying to get at Nick Foligno and earned a two-game suspension. Two weeks ago against Barrie, he suffered a concussion, which cost him another two games.

"It's been tough," he said. "I never missed any games because I was hurt, even when I played junior B I was never injured.

The four-to-six week timeframe may not be the top-end prediction.

"The first couple of days it always feels worse," Knights trainer Don Brankley said. "The walking boot takes a little getting used to. It hurts when you put it on. He's down right now but we'll see how it comes along."

The Generals come to the JLC with one of the brightest prospects in the game. In an effort to keep Tavares in the league, the OHL established the exceptional player rule, which allowed him to be drafted at a younger age.

Tavares has proven he belongs. Despite being on a team that is struggling, he's one of the more gifted offensive players in the league. This year he has 14 goals and 10 assists.

Knights' Sam Gagner, who leads the OHL with 42 points, knows Tavares well. They played together for three years in the Toronto Marlboro minor organization and on various select teams. Gagner and Tavares played together in Gagner's backyard rink when Gagner lived in Mississauga. They communicate regularly and have been looking forward to this game.

Gagner said you have to play "strong on him."

"You can't relax around him," he said. "He's not known for his forechecking but if you relax, he'll take the puck from you."

There are a few tickets left for the game.

He's a hard worker who can score some and kill penalties. He also gets under the other team's skin.

Bad luck dogged Foreman even before the season began and that hasn't changed.

He broke his foot this summer during a training session, missing the first month of the season. His first game back against the Sudbury Wolves, he dived into their bench trying to get at Nick Foligno and earned a two-game suspension. Two weeks ago against Barrie, he ran into an elbow to the jaw and suffered a concussion, which cost him another two games.

"It's been tough," he said. "I never missed any games because I was hurt. Even when I played junior B, I was never injured.

"I'm disappointed and frustrated."

The four- to six-week timeframe may not be the top-end prediction.

"The first couple of days it always feels worse," Knights trainer Don Brankley said. "The walking boot takes a little getting used to. It hurts when you put it on. He's down right now, but we'll see how it comes along."

The Generals come to the JLC with one of the brightest prospects in the game. In an effort to keep Tavares in the league, the OHL established the exceptional player rule, which allowed him to be drafted at a younger age than everyone else.

Tavares has proven he belongs. Despite being on a team that is struggling, he's one of the more gifted offensive players in the league. This year he has 14 goals and 10 assists.

London's Sam Gagner, who leads the OHL with 42 points, knows Tavares well. They played together for three years in the Toronto Marlboro minor organization and on various select teams. Gagner and Tavares played together in Gagner's backyard rink when Gagner lived in Mississauga. They communicate regularly and have been looking forward to this game.

"You always have to watch for him," Gagner said. "He's always dangerous. You think you have him under control and suddenly he gets the puck and scores. He can score from anywhere."

Gagner said you have to play "strong on him."

"You can't relax around him," he said. "He's not known for his forechecking, but if you relax, he'll take the puck from you."

In other news, the Knights waived six-foot-three defenceman Mike Noyes yesterday, but the Lucan native joined the struggling Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. That's the team coached by former Knights assistant Jacques Beaulieu.


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