Getzlaf's ankle under spotlight

By SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

CALGARY -- Ryan Getzlaf’s left ankle has received more air time in the past week than most players receive in an entire career.

All eyes were on Getzlaf during Saturday afternoon’s skate at the Dome.

Afterwards, he provided what has become almost an hourly update on his status, providing one American beat writer to ask the Ducks star if he’d ever seen so much fuss over an ankle sprain.

Getzlaf just smiled, knowing full well what he was in for in this final pre-Olympic tour through Alberta.

He didn’t confirm his participation in the Games, but, said he’s feeling better every day.

“I wish I could say for sure right now,” he said. “I haven’t talked to Mr. Yzerman yet. Obviously there’s going to be some discussions in the next couple of days.

“But we are moving forward and moving the way we wanted to.

“Things have been progressing the right way. (Friday) was good and (Saturday) was another step forward.”

After taking part in the entire practice, the former Calgary Hitmen star certainly didn’t look like a guy who was about to pull the plug on his Olympic dream.

He was even wearing his new Team Canada gloves.

“I’ve had them for about a week,” he said of the new mitts. “They feel good, but I have to work them in a little bit.”

But his hands aren’t in question. Never have been.

So ... back to the ankle.

“It was good,” he continued. “We treated it most of (Friday). Coming in here (Saturday) morning, everything was feeling up to par.

“We definitely didn’t take a step back.”

The Team Canada hopeful said he planned to play in one of the Ducks’ two remaining games.

The consensus seems to be if he can play for the Ducks, he’s good to go for Canada.

“That’s part of the process, getting back in game shape and getting ready to go,” said the Regina product, who sprained his ankle last Monday against the L.A. Kings.

“The sooner I can get back in our lineup, the better off we’re going to be.

“We’re making a big push right now and trying to get our points before the break.”

Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle, whose club has won 13 of the last 18, said there’s no decision to be made if Getzlaf proclaims himself healthy.

“If he tells me he can play, he’s playing,” Carlyle said when asked if he’d consider holding his best player out of the final two games prior to the Olympic break.

“There’s no ifs, ands or buts. It’s his decision.

“All we can do is provide him with the proper medical coverage and make sure the treatments are followed through.

“We’ll do everything we possibly can and then he’ll tell us whether he can play or not.”

Getzlaf, who tried two sets of skates during Saturday’s skate, said with the NHL’s continued participation in the Olympics beyond this year in question, these Games become even more important.

“That’s a big part of the mindset going into the Olympics,” he said. “It might be our only opportunity to play.

“With the way things are, it’s not looking good for participation down the road.”

scott.fisher@sunmedia.ca

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