SUN Hockey Pool

Smid back on blue-line

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

CHICAGO -- It wasn't that long ago Ladislav Smid was walking around the dressing room in crutches following a collision with Ethan Moreau during an Oilers practice.

Today, he'll be back in the lineup when the Oilers take on the Chicago Blackhawks in an afternoon enounter at the United Center.

"It's been getting better and better," said Smid.

"I started skating a couple of days ago and it was a little sore. But I've had time to ice it and recover.

"The biggest thing is that I had to wear a brace, which I have to get used to. But it's getting better."

Smid, 22, was injured prior to the Oilers game in Dallas on Feb. 22. The collision with Moreau twisted his knee and bruised his ankle.

He's been skating for less than a week, but is confident he'll be ready to go.

"I got bag-skated (Friday), and I skated pretty hard on it again (yesterday) and it was OK," he said.

"I also had some battles in practice, so I think it'll be ready for the game."

In 51 games for the Oilers this season, Smid has four assists. He was originally acquired in the Chris Pronger trade from the Anaheim Ducks.

A former first-round pick - ninth overall - of the Ducks, the defenceman from Frydlant, Czech Republic is a big part of the Oilers future.

"I haven't played a game in almost three weeks, so I'm really excited to get back in the lineup and help the team," he said.

"I'm 100% sure that I'm ready to play, otherwise I wouldn't do it."


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