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Ankle progress frustrates Whitney

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:10 PM ET

EDMONTON - Ryan Whitney is not happy with his progress so far in training camp and voiced his displeasure after practice Friday at Millennium Place in Sherwood Park.

The Edmonton Oilers defenceman said his frustrating level was: ďTen out of 10.Ē

Whitney, who underwent ankle surgery this summer, had hoped to get into at least a couple of exhibition games, is still not cleared to play.

ďI just planned all summer to be ready for camp and when you plan for the best case and it doesnít happen, that makes it a little frustrating,Ē Whitney said. ďItís still improving, itís just taking a little longer than I thought thatís what makes it frustrating. Iíll get there, itís just a matter of when. If someone could give me an answer, and thatís not on the trainers, nobody can do that, thatís just what you hope for.Ē

Whitney would be open to playing a few games in the minors if unable to get into the exhibition season. However, heíll cross that bridge when he gets there.

While Whitney has not been cleared, Ales Hemsky received the green light to take part in contact drills. The Oilers forward had shoulder surgery this off-season and is hoping to play in at least two exhibition games before suiting up for the opener Oct. 9 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He wonít be in the lineup Saturday, however, when the Oilers play host to the Calgary Flames.

ďThe shoulder feels great, now itís up to the coaches to see what games I play,Ē Hemsky said. ďI donít think in camp Iíve never played more than three games. I just want to get into a little bit, but I have to be conscience about it a little bit.Ē

The Oilers assigned seven players on Friday, dropping their current roster to 48.

Forwards Cameron Abney, Mark Arcobello, Hunter Tremblay, goaltender David LeNeveu and defenceman Johan Motin have been sent to the Oilers AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City. Travis Ewanyk, will rejoin the Edmonton Oil Kings, while Drew Czerwonka is heading back to the Kootenay Ice.


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