Smid, Khabibulin ready to go

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:09 PM ET

EDMONTON - With two injured Oilers closing in on their returns Wednesday, two others were wrestling with foot and mouth problems.

Defenceman Ladislav Smid is ready to go and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin skated pain free, but forward Andrew Cogliano needs X-rays on his jaw and Ales Hemsky left practice early with a sore wheel.

No word on either of their conditions until the Thursday morning skate.

Hemsky went to the bench during practice, sat there for a few moments with the training staff, then slammed his helmet down in frustration, walked to the room and didn't return. It was late enough in practice, though, that it might not mean anything.

"He hurt his leg somehow," said head coach Tom Renney. "I'll have to check but I don't think it's major. But he had to leave because he did something."

Cogliano took a Tom Gilbert shot off the jaw, a blow that resulted in seven stitches and a lot of swelling.

"It's tough to talk right now," he said. "I don't think it's broken, just really swollen. I'm just glad it was Gibby's shot and not (Kurtis) Foster's."

It's been a tough week for Cogliano: He lost a few teeth and needed stitches inside and outside of his mouth after being high sticked in Carolina -- an infraction that wasn't called -- then got booted from a game for boarding a few minutes into last week's game against Phoenix. Now this.

"I could sit here and feel sorry for myself but that's not going to work," he said, joking that it's just his luck that the puck hits him in the face, then hits the post.

"Couldn't have just went in, hey?"

Smid will play Thursday against Colorado, although his return isn't off on the best foot.

He was spitting blood after getting clipped in one of the battle drills in practice.

"Stick in the face, chipped tooth, way to start the comeback," he said, adding the symptoms he felt after being jumped by Sean Avery are gone.

"I'm feeling a lot better. I wasn't really concussed, it as more neck related. I was getting headaches from that. Maybe a little concussion, but nothing major."

And Khabibulin came out before practice to work on some lateral movement and had no issues with the groin.

"It actually felt really good," he said. "I didn't push it too far but from the stuff that I did it was good. I'll have to pay close attention to it. As goalies we use groins on every shot, every play."

He says he'll see how it responds Thursday morning and test it some more.

"If it feels like right now then it should be fine," he said. "I'll do more on Thursday and go from there."


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