A couple of tidbits from yesterday’s Oilers Now segment with defenceman Ryan Whitney. All quotes come from the August 1st edition of Oilers Now, which you can find here.
Reid Wilkins: “Ryan, let’s talk a little bit about hockey related stuff, and obviously, the ankle injury from December 2010, you were very honest with the media and the fans about lingering effects from last year, you also unfortunately had a knee injury that kept you out of a few games last season, simple question, how are you doing?”
Ryan Whitney: ”I’m doing good, thanks, it’s..it’s obviously, the ankle…that some, will forever unfortunately… be around but I had started training, I know I took a week off, started training a week after the season ended, and, I’m in the best shape that I’ve been in a long time, and even y’know, just ’cause I’ve been able to train, last time I really couldn’t, a lot of things I couldn’t do, and, this summer I’ve just been able to kinda get after it with everything, and because of that I’m really happy with y’know, how my body feels how, I feel really strong right now, started power skating recently, just trying to get my stride back to where it once was, and work on instability that I’ll kinda always still have now unfortunately but, the more time I can be in the gym and on the ice, the better I’ll feel no matter what, so it’s good to just know I’ll be coming into camp competing, just being with the guys, being normal instead of rehabbing something…”
Reid Wilkins: “It’s not so much pain…maybe just as a feeling of the support and the strength wasn’t there?
Ryan Whitney: “Yeah, exactly. The pain is pretty good now, it’s pretty much gone, it’s just about…just the things that aren’t necessarily common as they once were, when you have as many surgeries as I’ve had, it’s just how things are, it’s unfortunate but, it’s where I am at now, you try to make things as good as they can, I’ve gotten into Yoga this summer, which I don’t know if it’ll really help the (??) but it can’t hurt so, it’s pretty much me trying anything to get better and to get to as high of a level as I can be.”
Whitney then goes on to express his support for new Oilers coach Ralph Krueger, and how the Boston Red Sox all of the sudden are within shouting distance of the American League’s second Wild Card.
If I’m Ryan Whitney, I’m more than sick of fielding questions about my ankle. Yes, it got injured twenty months ago. Yes, it sucks. Yes, I’m trying to get it better so that I can help lead this team’s top line. But, in that exchange with Reid Wilkins, it’s obvious that he’s not 100%, and from his responses, he might never get to 100%. Whitney says that he’s not really ‘in pain’, but that it’s a strength and stability issue. Maybe Yoga will help get him close to 100%.
Ankle injuries are tough to come back from. From the sounds of it, Whitney is doing everything he can to be a major player on the Oiler defence come next season. If he’s unable, the Oilers need to do what many have been screaming about for over a year now, and that’s to have a contingency plan if Whitney needs more time.
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