Fisher catches big break

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

A little luck of the Irish rubbed off on Mike Fisher yesterday.

While the Senators centre won't face off against Buffalo tonight at Scotiabank Place, the ankle injury he suffered in Boston on Thursday won't keep him out of the lineup long term.

After Fisher crashed into the boards during the second period of a 3-2 shootout loss to the Bruins, doctors told him his right ankle was sprained, and an MRI exam done yesterday in Ottawa showed minimal ligament damage.

It's believed Fisher will be out at least two weeks and he'll only return to the lineup once he's 100%.

'PRETTY LUCKY'

"From what they're telling me I got pretty lucky," said Fisher, who added that doctors were buoyed by the fact he was able to walk without the use of crutches. "The way I crashed into the boards, they really felt that I could have broken it and it could have been a lot worse for me than it turned out. It was pretty painful (yesterday) morning, but the doctors say that might be a good thing.

"The swelling has gone down quite a bit and they want me walking on it to strengthen it a little bit. I don't know how long I'm going to be out and they don't want to put a timetable on it right now, but the feeling I got is that this is something that we can be positive about. The sooner I can get back the better, but it would have been a lot worse if it was a break. There's no question."

Losing Fisher is tough for the Senators because he is having a career year. But that's one of the reasons why GM John Muckler acquired centre Tyler Arnason at the trade deadline from Chicago because he wanted the club to have flexibility in case of injuries.

But Muckler doesn't believe Fisher's injury is going to keep him on the shelf for long.

"I really think we caught a break because he didn't break his ankle and I really thought he had when I saw the way he went into the boards and I saw the replays," said Muckler. "I was really worried that we were going to be without him for awhile. The news we received (yesterday) was positive because I don't think we're going to be without Mike Fisher long."

It's expected the Senators will insert winger Vaclav Varada, who was a healthy scratch vs. Boston, into the lineup tonight. Coach Bryan Murray has the option of moving Bryan Smolinski back to centre or he could try Antoine Vermette between Peter Schaefer and Chris Neil.

VERMETTE SHINES

That's the way Murray went against the Bruins and Vermette responded with a strong game.

As for Fisher, his biggest frustration is the fact that he had been nearly injury-free (he missed four games with a shoulder injury) this season.

"The tough part is I've been feeling really good and I've been happy with the way this year has gone," said Fisher, who has had a long list of injuries to deal with throughout his NHL career. "Hopefully, this won't be long and I can get back and get ready for the playoffs.

"All I can do is work hard to get back in the lineup and get ready to go."

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com 


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