Easy Comrie, easy go

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 11:03 AM ET

The homecoming started well enough, but quickly derailed.

Mike Comrie had high hopes heading into the season, trying to wash the bitter taste he left Edmonton with all those years ago.

In reality, it only took one good game for the local product to win back the crowd and make amends for an ugly split.

But all of that has been forgotten as a bout with mononucleosis has sidelined Comrie for the past two months.

"I'm starting to feel a little better," Comrie said yesterday. "It's been frustrating. I didn't know what to expect. I'm starting to get some energy back.

"As an athlete, you hate watching your team play without you, but when you're sick, and don't have any energy, you can't really control it."

Comrie has been out of the lineup since Nov. 18. He was first hit hard by a flu bug that infected half of the locker room, then was diagnosed with mono shortly after that.

"I think my immune system was so weak already because of the flu, it was pretty rough," Comrie said. "Then I got mono and I didn't have any energy, but I tried to play though it. Once I got my blood work back, however, I was told that I would be out for a while."

Due to the lack of energy and the danger of taking part in any physical activity with an enlarged spleen as a result of the illness, Comrie has been unable to do much while sick.

The diminutive forward just recently began working out and skating again, but it still may be a few weeks before he's able to return to the lineup.

"Some days are better than others," he said. "I've been able to work out for a couple of hours and then get on the ice for a little bit. I think it's kind of a week-by-week progression.

"I've been meeting with the doctors every week and hopefully I'll be able to come back soon."

With a team unable to win games and offence unable to score goals recently, it's been tough for the two-time 30-goal scorer to have to sit out and watch.

He was brought in to provide secondary scoring and help on the power play, which is what he was doing before getting sick.

In 16 games, Comrie had five goals and three assists.

"I think that's been the most frustrating part for me," he said. "I came into camp feeling good, feeling healthy, I wanted to do that. You feel helpless when you're injured. We've had a lot of injuries and a lot of guys that have missed games for different reasons.

"We've had a lot of trouble generating offence, but at the same time, we're going to stick together, you don't want any negativity to creep into the dressing room. Our coaching staff has been good, they want us to work hard, but it's been positive reinforcement."

Getting mono, just adds to the list of aliments that have plagued Comrie in the last couple of seasons. The last time he came close to playing a full year was in 2005-06, when he collected 60 points in 80 games with the Phoenix Coyotes.

"Different things cross your mind when something like this happens, but for me, it has been difficult and frustrating," Comrie said. "I want to play, I was so happy to come back here.

"I had a good preseason I had a good start to the regular season, I was back in the city that I grew up in, and now to be going through this has been rough. But at the same time, I'm excited to try to get back and be healthy again."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


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