SUN Hockey Pool

No worries for Warrener

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:10 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Rhett Warrener doesn't seem like a guy with a tendency to exaggerate.

So when fans saw the rugged Calgary Flames defenceman drop to the ice in obvious pain Friday night after his knee bounced off Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler and Flames teammate Kristian Huselius while trying to land a big hit, they assumed the worst.

But Warrener joined the Flames on their morning flight back to Vancouver yesterday and skated hard at GM Place after being cleared by the team's medical staff.

"(It) feels a lot better. I don't think there's any long-term worries," said Warrener, whose MRI results came back negative. "There was concern the other night but not now. It feels pretty good, doctors have OK'd it, so (it's time to) get back playing."

With defenceman Roman Hamrlik already out with a knee sprain that's expected to keep him on the sidelines for at least another couple of weeks, the Flames could hardly afford to lose Warrener.

The way he was helped off the ice and into the dressing room Friday, it appeared the worst had happened. Warrener was admittedly concerned at first.

"It wasn't too drastic, obviously," said Warrener. "But any time your knee gets hurt, you worry about it. The doctors have OK'd it, everything looks OK, so we'll see how it feels tonight."

Warrener's gain turned out to be Richie Regehr's loss. Regehr joined the Flames yesterday morning after being called up from the AHL Omaha Knights for some defensive depth. Warrener's quick recovery may have delayed Regehr's regular-season NHL debut but it didn't take away from his unexpected Christmas present.

"Everybody's saying that," Regehr said with a laugh.

"I'm enjoying it so far."

Regehr got the call on Christmas Eve and admitted he was surprised.

"I was," he said. "I had heard Rhett had an injury. I didn't know what was going on. Nice surprise."


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