SUN Hockey Pool

Oilersí Gilbert battles back woes

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:54 PM ET

Tom Gilbert knew his consecutive-games streak would eventually have to come to an end.

However, the Edmonton Oilers defenceman was still disappointed when his back gave out, forcing him out of the lineup.

ďItís been lingering for a while,Ē Gilbert said. ďIíve had back problems in the past. It was tight, but I didnít think anything like this would happen.

ďIt was kind of a freak incident, where I was just walking and it seized up on me. Itís just starting to loosen up now. Itís definitely a weird situation. Iíve had my back seize up on me before, but usually it loosens up after a little bit and this time it just locked up.Ē

Gilbert had played 332 consecutive games for the Oilers before being forced to miss the next two.

Itís not certain whether the Bloomington, Minn., native will be back for the last two.

ďI want to try to get back,Ē Gilbert said. ďI think it most depends if whether itís possible to injure it more. I donít think thatís the case, but you always have to be precautious with those things. If I can return Iíd like to.

ďItís disappointing. Throughout the whole season I could think of a handful of times where it looked like I couldnít play. But I just had to battle through it.Ē

Long rehab

Despite skating Thursday, Sam Gagner is still looking at a long rehab process this summer after requiring surgery on his left hand.

The Oilers centre has been out of the lineup since severing a tendon in his hand after being clipped by teammate Ryan Jonesís skate in Washington on March 9.

ďAs far as skating, itís just a matter of trying to keep my cardio up,Ē Gagner said. ďItís a lot more fun than riding the bike. But itís nice to get out there and feel my skates and feel the puck.

ďAs far as my hand goes, itís still along the same timeline (three months). Iíve been doing a lot of physio and treatment on it, and itís getting a lot better.Ē

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/DerekVanDiest


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