Playing with an undisclosed nagging injury has been frustrating for Jason Spezza.
But after leaving early from yesterday's practice at Scotiabank Place, the Senators centre couldn't help but chuckle as he walked away from the media, providing little in the way of details on the nature or severity of the issue.
“Sorry for the vagueness,” said Spezza with a smile.
With the Nashville Predators in town tonight, the last thing the Senators need is their No. 1 centre hurting. While Spezza is listed as “probable,” he admitted he may sit out a few games to see if that helps the injury heal.
About 10 minutes into yesterday’s practice, Spezza left for the training room and didn’t return. Long after Spezza’s teammates had left the ice, he emerged to speak with the media, but didn’t have a lot in the way of answers.
“Just some bumps and bruises, stuff like that. Hopefully, I can go (against the Predators),” said Spezza. “I’ve had a little bit of a nagging injury. Hopefully, I can just take care of it and it’s going to get feeling better. It’s bugging me a little bit, that’s why I’m trying to take care of it now.”
The Senators and Spezza will decide after today’s morning skate if it’s worth it for him to play if he’s not 100%. While Spezza hasn’t scored in the club’s first seven regular-season games, he says that has nothing to do with the injury.
“No excuses,” said Spezza.
Coach Cory Clouston admitted that Spezza hasn’t been healthy since the beginning of the season.
“We wanted to make sure he’s ready for (tonight),” said Clouston when asked why Spezza left. “I hope (he can play). I’m not sure yet, but he’s probable.”
Not only is there pressure on Spezza to play well to make the Senators successful, he’s also trying to impress Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman.
“We’ll evaluate as the next few days go on and see how I feel,” said Spezza, who has been lauded for playing well defensively and taking on a new role killing penalties.
The Senators have extra bodies if they decide Spezza isn’t able to go tonight or Saturday at home against the Boston Bruins. Centre Peter Regin, who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury, took Spezza’s spot on the top line with Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo.
“There have been a couple of (health) issues that he’s had and I wouldn’t say he’s been 100% since Day One,” said Clouston.