SUN Hockey Pool

Hemsky will play in pain

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:13 AM ET

There's a difference between playing in pain and playing injured, and Ales Hemsky is doing the former right now.

Hemsky, who made a somewhat surprising return to the Edmonton Oilers lineup from a right shoulder and collarbone injury in a 4-1 loss against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver Friday, still isn't 100%.

That's not because Hemsky's injured - the Oilers medical staff deemed him healed sufficiently to be good to go against the Avs after eight games on the shelf - but because he's playing through some discomfort.

That was apparent yesterday at practice.

"It's sore now and it'll be sore for a few months," said Hemsky, who played 15:30 of ice time against the Avs. "I just have to get used to the pain, that's all. There's nothing I can do."

Hemsky, 23, was injured Nov. 28 when he was taken into the boards by Anaheim's Sean O'Donnell.

He talked about being in pain the day the Oilers left for Denver, making a return seem unlikely, but he played anyway.

"It was good that Hemmer got back," coach Craig MacTavish said. "His next game will be better than his last one. When you've been off for awhile, it takes you a little time to get up to speed."

Hemsky was clearly in some discomfort again yesterday, cringing noticeably at times during drills. The fact is, a lot of players play through pain like Hemsky's doing now.

"Sometimes I pull it. I feel a pull," said Hemsky, who was crunched into the boards in Denver and didn't miss a beat. "As long as I can see the guy, when he's coming, I know how to take a hit. I can handle it. It's something I'm ready for."


Videos

Photos