Caucks' Bieksa sick, but still standing

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:09 PM ET

The pneumonia bug has bitten the Canucks, namely Kevin Bieksa.

Despite participating in Vancouver's practice Monday, the defenceman said he was suffering from the virus.

"I don't want to sound like a hero here or anything but I've had it for a while," said Bieksa, who sat out Friday's 6-1 win over San Jose. "There's a lot of guys that are sick and you've just got to try to get by everyday."

The 29-year-old Ontario native, whose voice was noticeably hoarse, said he's been sick since getting the flu in Montreal three weeks ago. He had also lost about eight pounds.

"The flu its tough, but you can play through it. This just kind of kicked my butt and I've been struggling with this," he said, adding he plans to play Wednesday in Calgary.

This season, Bieksa has four points in 21 games, and once again has fallen victim to trade rumours, most recently in a possible deal involving Washington's Tomas Fleischmann.

"It's funny how you guys keep throwing my name out there yet I'm still standing here," he said. "I don't think I can comment on every rumour that's out there. I'm still here today, that's all I can say."

Bieksa did, however, comment briefly on his friend and teammate Rick Rypien, who was granted indefinite leave by the team last week.

"He's got the support of his family and team and he's getting better," he said, not divulging anymore information on the forward. "Obviously it's not easy. Whatever it is has taken him away from the game he loves to play and we miss him around here."

Note: Centre Manny Malhotra missed practice with the flu, while Alex Bolduc (ankle) skated in his second full practice with the team. The centre will travel on the upcoming two-game road trip and could return as early as the end of the week.


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