Khabibulin's return to action soon

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:13 PM ET

As far as strange injuries go, Nikolai Khabibulin's ranks up there.

The Edmonton Oilers goaltender was forced out of the lineup after getting ice-chips in his left eye.

"I've never had that happen to me before," Khabibulin said. "I stopped a shot low to the stick side and I felt something hit me in the eye.

"It was sore for a couple of minutes and then it kind of went away. My vision got kind of blurry and I thought it would go away, but it didn't."

The incident occurred in the Oilers 4-1 loss in Minnesota last week.

Khabibulin backed up Devan Dubnyk the next night in Colorado, but realized something was still wrong.

"It didn't feel terrible the next day," he said. "It felt as though I was looking through some plastic tape. I could see everything, it just wasn't very clear.

"That's why I checked with the doctors in Minnesota and Colorado. They didn't find anything so I did some tests here."

Doctors in Edmonton discovered some bleeding behind Khabibulin's eye.

In order to keep it from getting worse, he was not allowed to raise his blood pressure, so he had to relax for a couple of days while it healed completely.

On Wednesday he was back skating with the club who had an optional on-ice workout.

He's not expected to be in the lineup when the Oilers host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

"I'm not sure, but I think it's similar to a bruise in the back of your eye," Khabibulin said. "I'm better now. I just need a couple of days to get my wind back.

"When you go through six days of completely doing nothing, it's hard the first couple of days. I'll go through a couple of days of practices and hopefully, I'll start feeling better."


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