Leafs awaiting news on Giguere's injury

LANCE HORNBY,QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:59 PM ET

As the media pressed closer to hear Jean-Sebastien Giguere give his medical update, Jonas Gustavsson couldn’t help leaning in from his stall to listen, too.

James Reimer was looking on from the other end of the room, too, no doubt wondering how Giguere’s gimpy groin will influence playing time for all three in the coming days.

Giguere is going to give the original injury, now revealed as a small muscle tear, a week more to heal. That means the rookie Reimer is not only the favourite to make a third straight start Thursday against the St. Louis Blues, but can go on the four-game road trip that starts Friday in Atlanta.

“Every two or three days it starts feeling better, but right now is the time to be patient,” said Giguere, who has already missed seven games in the second of two bouts with this issue.

“Right now, I feel like I could go. But maybe it’s a decision to wait another week and make it more stronger. We have another three months of the season after that. I want to be part of the team the next three months, not go back to the same (condition). It’s very frustrating, aggravating. I want to help the team get some points, show this team I can play and that I’m worth it.”

Giguere, who consulted a specialist a couple of weeks ago, will see a Leafs doctor Thursday morning to get basic clearance for the road trip. But coach Ron Wilson will not green light Giguere too quickly.

“It’s wrong to say burnt, but we’ve been burnt twice when he has come back and been hurt again,” Wilson said. “We want to make sure he’s not just 100%, but 110% if that’s possible.”

Wilson wasn’t asked about Reimer vs. Gustavsson, but everyone on the Leafs has remarked on the calmness‚ that has defined Reimer’s play in seven periods, a .957 save percentage in a win and loss. Gustavsson was not going to rock the boat, either.

“We all saw he’s a really good goalie in pre-season,” Gustavsson said. “He has been working hard here and he obviously deserves the chance. It’s always good for the team.

“I’m pushing forward. Some games are better than others, but overall I feel good and that I’m learning something every year. I felt I played well in the last game. and now I have my energy back. I try to make the best of the situation.”

Reimer is just enjoying this unexpected ride.

“Taking it day by day and the chips will fall where they may,” he said.

The temptation for Giguere to play next week will be hard to resist. The trip starts in Los Angeles and San Jose, two buildings where he made a mark in his years with the division rival Anaheim Ducks. All his California connections will be at he game. But he’s also listening to the specialists’ advice.

“Every time you have an injury, you get to know more about yourself, what exercise works and what doesn’t. The key is to listen to your body.

“The doctor told me make sure it’s nice and healed, because when you think it is, it might not be. Once you’re back you have to talk to your trainers and take a day off if you have to. I’m not a guy who takes a day off for no reason, but I might be at that point right now.”

“The young guys are doing well and it’s not like I’m pushing to come back.”


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