SUN Hockey Pool

Lost fingernail puts O'Sullivan on shelf

DEREK VAN DIEST, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:20 PM ET

It’s used as a method of torture, ripping off a fingernail. So in that vein, one can appreciate what Patrick O’Sullivan went through having lost the nail on his left ring finger after being slashed by Chris Phillips of the Ottawa Senators 10 days ago. O’Sullivan has missed the last four games because of it and won’t be in the lineup Friday when the Edmonton Oilers host the Detroit Red Wings. He can barely hold a stick much less shoot the puck. “He slashed me and caught me right at the end of the finger and my nail just exploded,” O’Sullivan said. “I could feel it in my glove and then when I came to the bench, I took my glove off and the nail had come off and it was about (four centimetres) long. “That’s how far it extends into the finger. It’s amazing.” O’Sullivan was back skating with the team Thursday, but could not take part in any drills. He had to have a metal device inserted where the nail was in order to help stabilize his finger. He won’t be passing though any metal detectors any time soon. “The metal plate goes up where your nail bed starts,” he said. “It’s supposed to protect it and hopefully allow your nail to grow back again. But it still bleeds every day. “It was really swollen, too, although it’s gone down quite a bit. There are a lot of nerves in your fingernails. It’s not fun.” A centimetre either way and O’Sullivan could have probably just shrugged off the slash. At the worst, he would have bruised the fingernail, much like he did a toenail earlier this year when he took a puck off the foot. “If it’s just bruised, it’ll fall off naturally and it doesn’t really hurt,” O’Sullivan said. “That’s what happened with my foot. But my finger was really gross.” With 10 goals and 21 assists on the season, O’Sullivan became the latest Oiler to go down with an injury. Heading into their game against the Red Wings, the Oilers have eight players out of the lineup with injuries. “I’m not counting on him right away,” said Oilers head coach Pat Quinn. “I guess we continue to find new ways to lose players. It’s very unusual. “We’ve all probably been hacked like he was, but he managed to lose a nail on it. I don’t know what the time frame on that will be.” Jordan’s journey After Jordan Eberle’s junior season with the WHL Regina Pats came to an end last weekend, the Oilers assigned their first-round pick to the Springfield Falcons. The Oilers could still call up Eberle to the NHL. But if they do, it’ll most likely be towards the end of the year with less than 10 games to go because the winger is eligible to play nine games in the NHL without having the first year of his contract kick in. “He has a good hockey mind and I’m sure that will show up fairly well (in the AHL),” Quinn said. “He’s not a big guy, so I’m sure that teams playing against him will try to be physical against him, so he has to learn to avoid those big physical situations. “He has to learn to compete and produce the same way he has in the past. “He has to find a way to do it is as he goes through the ranks.” derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

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