'Tough times' for Lubo

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

Lubomir Visnovsky's poker face needs a little work.

You could read him like a book yesterday, and it didn't take long to tell it doesn't have a happy ending.

"It's not an easy time for me right now," said the injured defenceman, who's scheduled for season ending shoulder surgery this morning.

"I'm so mad because it's very tough. These are tough times for me and for the team. Every game we climb for the playoffs and I can't help because I'm injured and I'm done for the season.

"Everybody is looking for the playoffs and I'm looking for next season.

"Mentally I feel very bad. I come to the rink and guys grab their skates and go to the ice. I feel like I'm not important to the team right now."

He's not. After consulting with Oilers athletic therapist Ken Lowe, three different doctors and teammates Ethan Moreau, Shawn Horcoff and Sheldon Souray, who've suffered similar injuries, Visnovsky realized there was no choice but to shut it down.

"I start thinking that after six weeks I'll go back to the ice because it's a very important time," said Visnovsky. "(Moreau) said no chance. He said 'Lubo you need surgery for sure. It's very hard games and your shoulder is dislocated, you can't play like before, you're thinking about the shoulder and you don't play hard and don't play good like before.

"And they said it's 90% that my shoulder comes out again.

"I said, OK."

What makes it all the more frustrating is that it was such a simple play, a little rub along the end boards.

"I tried to hit the guy and I pushed him a little bit and my shoulder dislocated, I don't know how," said Visnovsky. "I looked at it 10 times on the Internet and it didn't look too bad, but the injury is bad."

All he can do now is shrug (actually he can't even shrug) and say wait till next year.

"I will be ready for sure in September. The doctor said 'No problem, you're a strong guy, you will be ready for sure next season.' "


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