Blood infection slows Lupul's recovery

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:17 PM ET

ANAHEIM — Joffrey Lupul is walking around the Anaheim Ducks dressing room very gingerly these days.

The Edmonton native and former Oiler has been out of the Ducks lineup since December, having to undergo back surgery to repair a herniated disk.

Lupul was originally scheduled to return by the Olympic break, but a blood infection has complicated matters.

“I don’t think I’ll be back anytime soon,” Lupul said.

“But there is still a chance and I’m holding on to that. The team is playing better, we’re getting ourselves in a chance where we can play in the playoffs. So I’m going to do everything I can to get back this year.”

The infection has caused Lupul to lose 25-pounds. He now has to take antibiotics intravenously twice a day for two hours at a time. He’s walking around with an IV needle in his arm and has been undergoing the treatment for three weeks.

“I’m feeling a lot better than I was a week ago,” Lupul said. “I’m at least getting around and can do some things. It’s been frustrating, but I’m starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel. I think my body is starting to react a little bit better. A couple of weeks ago, I as hunched over and not moving to fast. But you just have to stick with it, even though it’s tough.”

Originally drafted by the Ducks in the first round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, this is his second stint in Anaheim, having been traded twice for defenceman Chris Pronger.

Lupul, 26, went to the Oilers following the 2006 Stanley Cup run after the star defenceman requested a trade out of town. After one season, the Oilers traded Lupul to the Philadelphia Flyers, who sent him back to Anaheim in a trade involving Pronger this summer.

Lupul had 10 goals and four assists in 23 games before having to undergo surgery.

“I went and saw the surgeon (Monday) and he still thinks I can make a full recovery,” Lupul said. “That was encouraging to hear. As far as the surgery goes, I didn’t have a choice, I couldn’t play any more the way I was, it had to be done.”


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