SUN Hockey Pool

Hemsky's wrist still hurtin'

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

The old saying is that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

But if it ain't broke, you can still cast it.

That's what the Edmonton Oilers are doing with Ales Hemsky's sore wrist, which seems to be going from bad to worse.

He's been fitted for a removable cast that only comes off for games.

"We're trying to get it better," said Hemsky, who's been wrestling with the injury for about four weeks now. "They hope this will make it heal quicker."

The pain, which originally stemmed from a slash he can't even remember, isn't showing any signs of improvement.

"When it first happened it wasn't that sore,"he said. "I just had a couple slashes that made it more sore, more swelling."

"He felt like it was almost to the point where it gets worse when he's not playing, so they decided to cast it, just to immobilize it till game time," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "But he's going to be available."

But he's clearly not at 100%,

"It's painful," said Hemsky. "But I have to get used to it and try to play with it. There are some things I can do and some things that are painful. It's something I just have to fight through.

"It's not broken. That's what they say. It'll be sore for a little while, I just have to fight through it.

"It's tough to get better when you're playing with it, you're moving it and getting hurt all the time, that's the problem."

If the Oilers were safely in the playoffs, Hemsky could take a week or two to fully recover, but they don't have that luxury. So he skips most practices and wears the new cast.

He isn't producing much (three points in the last six games) but MacTavish says that's more a byproduct of who they're playing.

"Give Minnesota and Calgary credit for the way they checked him," said MacTavish.

"There's hasn't been a lot of open ice for him so it's been difficult to create stuff. It's more attributable to the quality of defences we've seen than the injury, but he's happy to play through it at this point."

* The Oilers recalled defenceman Mathieu Roy from Springfield because Matt Greene is nursing a sore groin and Joni Pitkanen is on the limp as well.

Roy had a chance to carve out a niche for himself last season, but couldn't stay healthy. This fall he was injured again in training camp, came back for a few games and got hurt again before being sent down.

"It's ironic that he's coming up to replace an injured guy," said MacTavish.

* The Sharks are an awesome 17-5-3 on the road this season, but barely .500 at home (14-14-5). They pounded Calgary with shots last game, 43-18, and still lost.

"You put a little stock in it, you hope (the record) bears itself out against us," said MacTavish.

"At this stage of the season the record doesn't lie, but it looks like they're working hard to turn it around."


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