Kuba's injury a pain for Sens

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

The Senators have finally come clean on Filip Kuba.

Listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury since Oct. 5, coach Cory Clouston revealed Wednesday the veteran defenceman is suffering from groin/hip/pelvic issues that haven’t healed enough to allow him to play.

Kuba will miss his seventh straight game Thursday. He was to return to practice with the club Wednesday, but couldn’t. He wasn’t comfortable after skating before the team went on the ice.

Don’t count on Kuba being back for Saturday’s visit by the Bruins, either.

“Is there any sense (on when he might return)? No, not really,” Clouston said in response to a question by Sun Media. “It’s basically in his hips/groin/pelvis area and we don’t know what’s causing what. One day it could be this. Another it could be that. I’ve had lower-back problems my whole life, so I understand.

“Sometimes (the pain) may be in your lower back. Sometimes it may be in your hip or the groin area. We’ve just got to get everything kind of strengthened and settled down before we can even say a whole lot more. I don’t know which is causing more problems than the other.”

Clouston said Kuba won’t require surgery and that he is inching closer to a return. Before that, Kuba has to be able to practise with the team.

“Anyone who has had a back problem can vouch (for the problems Kuba’s having),” said Clouston. “Some days you wake up and feel outstanding. You go for a skate and everything is good and then the next morning, you feel back to square one, almost.

“He is making definite improvements, but we’re just not quite sure how he’s going to feel from day-to-day almost. I think he’s had some problems in the past, so we just want to make sure that we have everything under control.”

GM Bryan Murray said he didn’t expect Kuba to be out this long after suiting up for the season opener.

“In hindsight, I should have put him on (injured reserve).”

Off the glass

G Brian Elliott doesn’t expect to start tonight, even though it would make sense to save Pascal Leclaire for the Bruins. “It’s hard for anybody to stay sharp,” said Elliott, who has played once this season, a 4-2 victory over the Thrashers on Oct. 10. “You’ve just got to take every practice like it’s your game and make sure you’re hard on every shot. You have to put as much pressure on yourself as you can to perform. That will help you in the games.” ... If C Jason Spezza is healthy enough to play, struggling Ryan Shannon could be scratched. He skated as the extra forward on the fourth line in practice, and Peter Regin (shoulder) is ready to return ... Regin skated on the third line with Nick Foligno and Chris Neil. “I’m feeling good,” said Regin, who missed three games. “I felt good before the injury and I wanted to keep going. It’s only been a week and it shouldn’t be a problem getting back.”

Beware of Predators

Coach Cory Clouston said the Senators can’t let their guard down against a Predators team that lost its sixth straight, 3-2 at Boston Wednesday night. “When you face a team that’s been struggling, you know they’re going to work hard,” said Clouston. “They’ve got some good players and there are times where they can be very aggressive. We know what to expect from them, but have to focus more on ourselves.”

Minute munchers

Nashville Ds Ryan Suter and Shea Weber saw a lot of Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin last Saturday. Suter played 32:14 and Weber 29:14. Suter (U.S.) and Weber (Canada) will likely make their Olympic teams. “We consciously (played them a lot) knowing we had a break here,” said coach Barry Trotz, whose club had three days off before facing the Bruins.

Quick hits

Predators Gs Dan Ellis and Pekke Rinne have been splitting the duties. Ellis faced the Bruins ... C Dave Scatchard, recalled from AHL Milwaukee, played last night — his first NHL game since Jan. 27, 2007. The 33-year-old didn’t play last season. “He gives you size, experience and another faceoff guy,” Trotz said.

Injuries

SENATORS: Filip Kuba (groin), won’t play; Jesse Winchester (right knee), won’t play.

PREDATORS: C Jason Arnott (arm), won’t play; D Dan Hamhuis (upper body), out; RW Jordin Tootoo (groin), out.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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