Emery feeling frustrated

Ray Emery attempts a save with his glove hand during Senators practice on Sunday morning. (Sun...

Ray Emery attempts a save with his glove hand during Senators practice on Sunday morning. (Sun Media/Blair Gable)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

Ray Emery doesn't have an answer.

After taking part in his first full practice with the Senators yesterday at Scotiabank Place, Emery told reporters he's not sure when he'll be able to play, but doesn't believe he's ready yet.

The 24-year-old Emery, who signed a three-year, $9.5-million (all terms US) deal in the off-season, is still recovering from wrist surgery to repair ligament damage on his catching hand following the Stanley Cup final in June.

"I'm just working hard at getting back right now. I obviously want to get some games in, but I've got to make sure that I'm not going to get hurt when I get in there," said Emery. "I'm close, but I'm not where I want to be as far as playing a game. It's kind of frustrating for me right now, but I'll get in there."

The Senators would like Emery to start tomorrow night against Philadelphia at home. He will skate today with the players who won't face the Leafs tonight in Toronto and then is going to discuss the situation with coach John Paddock tomorrow morning.

Paddock said he believes Emery is fully recovered from the wrist surgery and that he needs time to get to the point where he's comfortable and confident going back into the net. He has only been taking shots on the glove side for the last week or so.

"I think his wrist is fine, watching him a little bit in practice," said Paddock. "He's not taking shots like he did last year where he was always favouring it. I think it's just a matter of feeling comfortable with being back in the live competition.

"He didn't face players like every other goaltender did in August, just scrimmaging and having fun, and he just started to take some regular workouts in the last two or three days ago.

"It's (about) where (he's) at and feeling comfortable. It's not injuring the hand, it's just about facing shooters and not wanting to embarrass himself. It's as much that as anything."

Goalie coach Eli Wilson said Emery is close to a return and didn't rule out playing against the Flyers. Wilson believes Emery's biggest hurdle is getting used to taking shots on the glove side again.

"He's out there working hard and when you haven't seen pucks that consistently for a while it might get a little frustrating at times," said Wilson. "I know he's thinking about his wrist and stuff like that, but I'm happy with his work ethic and what he's doing out there. He's battling through it and he'll be ready go here pretty quick, I would think.

"He'll get a chance to see more shots as practices go along here and we're working on some team concepts. Once he gets a chance to have some drills with just shots, and shots and shots, and gets used to seeing the pucks coming at his hands, then he'll be more comfortable with it."

Emery said the recovery period hasn't been easy.

"It's a lot of work. There's frustrating setbacks and you're trying to get your feet back under you," said Emery.

Asked if he would play against the Flyers, Emery said:

"I don't know ... I can't answer that right now."


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