SUN Hockey Pool

Pisani back on the sidelines

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:15 PM ET

ATLANTA - If Fernando Pisani didnt have bad luck, he wouldnt have any luck at all.

Friday, the Edmonton Oilers forward left the team and went home due to complications with ulcerative colitis.

He'll go see his doctor in Edmonton, said Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini. I'm not sure what the next steps are for him, but his time away is determined to be indefinite at this point.

Pisani had just recent returned to the lineup from a back injury. Hes played just six games this season, having yet to register a point.

Last year the local product broke his ankle crashing into the end boards against the Detroit Red Wings, limiting him to just 38 games where he scored seven goals and added six assist.

The previous season, Pisani was sidelined for the first 26 games of the season with ulcerative colitis.

Fernies had a tough go and you could see in the last couple of weeks that he hasnt been feeling 100%, said Oilers defenceman Sheldon Souray, who himself is trying to work his way back into the lineup from a concussion. You could see it in his face and its best for him to go home and get healthy and make sure hes 100%. Hes only cheating himself if he doesnt come back 100%.

But hes a battler, hes been through these things before. He hasnt had an easy time in the last couple of years. We just want him to get better as fast as he can.

Its a been a tough go for Pisani since his playoff heroics during the 2006 run where he scored 14 goals as the Oilers made it to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final.

Hes since gone on to score 34 goals in three seasons while battling through a number of different ailments.

At the start of this season Pisani was put on extended injury reserve due to a bad back.

You can tell his energy has been low a little bit and theres a reason for it, said Oilers forward Shawn Horcoff, whos expected to be back in the lineup Sunday afternoon when the Oilers face the Atlanta Thrashers. We want to get him healthy, because when hes going, hes feeling good and hes healthy, hes a huge part of this team.

He wants to play, but at the same time when you talk to you him, hes starting to realize there is more to life to hockey and you have to think about your life past the game and your well-being. But I think its a different scenario this time then before. Hell just go home, get some rest, get healthy and get all his energy back, then hell be back to his old self.

Pisani was first diagnosed with the disease that affects the intestine back in 2005. However, it wasnt until the summer of 2007 where he got extremely ill, putting more than just his hockey career in jeopardy.

Back then, I think it was a whole different scenario, said Horcoff. We came back the one summer and I think he was still wondering how to deal with it. I think it was tough on him and he was going through a real hard time. It was tough on him, but I think this time is different, its not as severe. However, he needs to deal with it. Its a matter of life and overall health.

Pisani, 32, was the Oilers ninth pick 195 overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. He worked himself through the Oilers farm system before becoming a regular in 2003.

Its a tough enough game to play when you feel fine physically, but when you have something like that, which adds to the everyday rigours of our life, its almost impossible to deal with from an energy standpoint for him, said Oilers captain Ethan Moreau.

Its more than frustrating for him, Im sure. But this goes beyond hockey and its about quality of life. We just want him to get back to normal and feel better for him and his familys sake.


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