Leafs take gag off Reimer
LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
|Since the weekend, James Reimer has been able to increase his workload without being bothered by headaches or other concussion-like symptoms. (ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI Agency)
TAMPA, FLA. - James Reimer is talking again, now the question is when he can start playing.
After being told by the Maple Leafs’ brass to stay quiet about the nature of his Oct. 22 head injury, the Leaf goaltender was able to speak Tuesday afternoon after more than an hour of working out at the St. Pete Times Forum.
“I missed you guys,” a smiling Reimer said as he entered the media scrum. “To get out there and stop pucks, to be back doing what I love to do, (the past few days) have been a lot of fun.”
Since the weekend, Reimer has been able to increase his workload without being bothered by headaches or other concussion-like symptoms. But he remains adamant that an actual concussion diagnosis was never given. He was somewhere between the dreaded head injury and whiplash from a collision with Montreal’s Brian Gionta.
“Things just stuck around,” Reimer said of nagging pains. “I thought I was getting better (he had expected to start an Oct. 27 game in New York before the curtain came down), but things plateaued and they plateaued ever since. It wasn’t bad (pain), it was just annoying and with something like that, you err on the side of caution and think about the future.
“(Sitting around) was frustrating for you guys, frustrating for the fans, but twice as frustrating for me. The only thing you can’t do is get your heart-rate up, so I sat on my butt for a month. It was like you were day-to-day for 30 days, for the most part feeling 99% (healthy). But I’ve felt great the past five days. Hopefully I’m back soon. It’s just a matter of getting my timing back.”
Coach Ron Wilson said there was “no timetable” for Reimer though the goalie will participate in his first full practice in Dallas on Thursday. With another full workout scheduled Saturday before the Anaheim game at the end of the trip, Reimer might then be looking at one of the two games next week against Boston.
“It’s still a process to get back into shape,” Wilson said. “I can’t say the number of days.
“We’ve got a lot of people out with injuries and we’d like to have our full lineup. It starts in goal. We’ve had some really good games from our goalies and some mediocre ones, so it will be nice to get our No. 1 involved. We’ve battened down the hatches and got enough points so that when (Reimer) does get back, we can get on a roll again.”
Jonas Gustavsson was to start Tuesday’s game against the Lightning.
The Leafs welcomed Clarke MacArthur back on Tuesday after a three-game absence with an upper-body injury. The winger agreed his troubles have reflected those of the whole line. Right winger Nikolai Kulemin has not scored in 14 games and centre Mikhail Grabovski will be out a couple of weeks with a leg injury.
“It has been a tough start, getting little injuries, getting out of rhythm,” MacArthur said. “It will be nice to get healthy. Our one line (Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak) has been great this year. We need to step up as a second line.”
Wilson also said that defenceman Mike Komisarek had surgery on his broken arm on Monday and that forward Matthew Lombardi was expected to try and re-hab a suspected dislocated shoulder before any decision on surgery is made.