Oilers sick bay filling up

Oilers centre Mike Comrie has been ailing for several weeks. (QMI Agency/Justin Edmonds)

Oilers centre Mike Comrie has been ailing for several weeks. (QMI Agency/Justin Edmonds)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

The best the Edmonton Oilers could ice Thursday was a skeleton crew of 13 skaters as their injury situation goes from bad to worse to ridiculous.

Just one day after they were starting to get some bodies back and posted a crucial win over Colorado, the were rocked again by news of Mike Comrie’s mononucleosis, Ethan Moreau’s potential concussion, Shawn Horcoff’s recurring shoulder trouble and various other afflictions to Liam Reddox, Sam Gagner, Lubomir Visnovsky and... well, let head coach Pat Quinn tell it.

His post-practice media availability sounded like a cross between M*A*S*H and Abbott and Costello.

“We were going to have a video session before practice, but it turned out we didn’t have a lot of soldiers to practice so that’s cancelled until Friday,” began Quinn. “Comrie has mono, he’s not going to play or practice till he’s through the full phase of it. Moreau was banged hard enough where he couldn’t come back to the game and when he came to the rink our medical staff wanted him to take the day off.

“Horcoff tried to practice and couldn’t get through it, so he left. We only had the eight forwards out there. We’ve got Nilsson who’s out... um, I need the (injury) list.”

Reddox?

“Reddox is gone. We all saw him get hit with a shot from his own player. It (swelling) still stayed up this morning so he’s gone for an X-ray on the ankle. Who else are we missing. I should have brought the list.”

Visnovsky?

“Visnovsky needed a day, he’s still suffering from being banged four or five days ago.”

Ales Hemsky?

“Hemsky is still sore from upper body stuff that’s been going on with him for a while. Um, Gagner went to have his hip further looked at. Who else is on the list? Grebeshkov, as we know, is still out for a period of time. Pisani is where he is. Who am I missing?”

Ryan Stone.

“Stone, we’re hearing is better news, he didn’t have a setback in his skating. We expect to have him practising with us by the weekend. And Jacques had his first full.. well, we didn’t have a full team but he had his first full practice Friday.

“I think that’s it.”

For now. But considering the never-ending list of maladies that have plagued the Oilers, who’ve already lost a league-leading 120 man-games to illness and injury this season (a staggering total given that Tampa has seven and Calgary 15), it’s probably not the end of it.

Comrie is the most recent shocker. He’s been ailing for several weeks, starting with a flu that was complicated by asthma, and couldn’t seem to shake the weakness and fatigue.

Blood tests eventually revealed the lingering illness.

“They think this has been going on for a couple of weeks, it’s maybe one of the reasons his (decreased) energy and production becomes more explained,” said Quinn, who has no timetable on a return. “It has has to run its course. It’s one of those viruses you don’t play with. It’ll run its course and they’ll continue to test him until the virus is pushed out.”

Comrie was second only to Dustin Penner in goals per game this season - he had five in 16 starts - and represents a significant hole on a team that isn’t much for scoring.

They’re saying Moreau, who took a borderline hit from Ryan Wilson in the second period Wednesday, doesn’t have a concussion, but the unpredictability of these situations, as evidenced by recent head injuries to Steve Staios and Sheldon Souray, means nothing can be taken for granted.

“He took a bad enough whack that he had blurred vision and headaches but they don’t believe there was a concussion,” said Quinn.

The Oilers wouldn’t make Comrie nor Moreau available to the media.

They’ll evaluate the situation again today before deciding whether or not to call up more reinforcements from Springfield.


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