February 11, 2011
Armstrong, Gustavsson suffer mystery ailments
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
Three mysterious medical conditions are clouding the Maple Leafs’ future heading into the final two months of the schedule.
A few hours after revealing that winger Colby Armstrong could miss up to a week with blurred vision, the team announced that goaltender Jonas Gustavsson had undergone a third heart ablation process since September of 2009.
“The determination to have the procedure was made after Gustavsson was examined Friday by the same medical specialists that treated him in the first half of the 2009-10 season,” said a release by the team on Friday night.
Gustavsson was pulled after the first period of his second rehab start for the Marlies on Wednesday when his heartbeat began racing. The ablation is usually a mildly invasive procedure with wire-like catheters inserted into a blood vessel in the groin area, running to the heart and correctiong the beat. But it was thought this problem was under control and the Leafs have constantly downplayed its imact on the 26-year-old career since it was first discovered at the ’09 training camp medicals.
Gustavsson can begin workouts in seven days after the procedure was done at a hospital in London, Ont. The Monster’s 14-day conditioning stint with the AHL farm club is suspended and he is transferred to the NHL’s injured reserve list.
Gustavsson played in 23 games for the Leafs this season with a record of 6-13-2 and an .890 save percentage.
Armstrong experienced sight problems late in Thursday night’s game against New Jersey. He was not at practice of Friday, will miss Saturday’s game in Montreal and according to coach Ron Wilson, could be out as long as a week. Though he wore an eye patch for a few days last month when hammered by a Ben Eager sucker punch in a game against Atlanta, he seemed to show no outward concussion symptoms up until Thursday.
“He’s gone through some testing and it doesn’t look like he’ll be cleared to play tomorrow,” Wilson said. “We’re not really sure what happened. It just popped up in the third period. He has a blurry spot. It doesn’t seem to be serious, so the doctors have told him he may have to rest a week.”
That last quote was puzzling, but the Leafs have also been vague about enforcer Colton Orr, who went down Jan. 20 when drilled by George Parros of the Ducks in a fight. Orr was spotted walking around the Air Canada Centre this week, but there’s no timetable for his return.
Mike Brown, meanwhile, is still out with an upper body injury from a heavy check on Feb. 1 against Florida, his second potential long-term injury after breaking his index finger blocking a shot. And centre Darryl Boyce is still wearing a full shield after his nostril was nearly torn from his face when scraped the photographer’s hole in the glass at the ACC.