Injuries taking a toll on Oilers

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:20 PM ET

ATLANTA — It’s getting so bad, the Edmonton Oilers are starting to lose players on off-days now.

Friday the team announced Fernando Pisani was their latest casualty, sent home due to complications with ulcerative colitis.

The club had sent home defenceman Denis Grebeshkov a day earlier with an knee injury suffered in a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

“Grebby looks like he’ll be a few weeks for sure with an MCL strain,” said Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini. “We'll probably know a little more after this week when he’ll be back.

“It (injuries) is something that you can't control. Denis got hurt on the last shift of the game, going in knee on knee with a Buffalo player (Derek Roy) right in front of their bench.
 There some different things that happen, but you have to deal with them. We've dealt with a lot in this last month though.”


Yesterday Patrick O’Sullivan left practice early suffering the affects of taking a shot off his foot against the Sabres. Taylor Chorney, who sprained an ankle in Colorado, is not ready meaning the Oilers are short a defenceman was are expected to call one up from their farm team in Springfield — most likely Theo Peckham, for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Thrashers.

On a positive note, Shawn Horcoff is expected to make a return having sat out the last four games with a shoulder injury.

“I’m going to play for sure,” Horcoff said. “I think I was kind of close last game, but I think the extra four days would be beneficial so I think I’ll be ready to go.”

Defenceman Sheldon Souray is also back practicing with the team, but he’s unlikely to suit up Sunday against the Thrashers. Souray has been out of the lineup with concussion issuses since getting tripped into the end boards by Calgary Flames winger Jarome Iginla on Oct. 8.

“There is no way we can control that (injuries), it hasn’t been a lot of fun for any of them,” said Oilers head coach Pat Quinn. “We’ve missed an incredible number of man games already. But the games are there and we have to play them.

"We’ll do our best. We’re trying to still instill the general principals that successful players and people on teams have to do and yet we’re bringing in a lot of new people all the time. It won’t go without reward. Right now you just have to scratch hard to find the acorn.”


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