Contact? What contact?
Ryan Smyth and the Kings pulled a Jedi mind trick at practice today. I saw Ryan Smyth get a couple gentle bumps in the corner during a drill, but afterward, Smyth and Terry Murray had no recollection of it! Hmmm… Smyth, recovering from his upper-body injury, has not yet been cleared for contact in practice. Smyth said he will be evaluated again on Saturday.
Here’s what Smyth, and Murray, said about Smyth’s recovery and his chances for returning before the eight-day holiday break, which starts after the Dec. 17 game.
Question: How are you feeling on the ice?
SMYTH: “I feel fairly well. I’ve skated for the last 10 days, and each day I’m getting progressively better. It’s just a matter of listening to your body and then obviously listening to what the doctor says too. It’s progressing.”
Question: Do you have a target date in mind for a return?
SMYTH: “No. I’ve got to listen to what they say. Obviously I want to be back right now, but it’s a matter of letting nature take its course and listening to the trainers and the doctors.”
Question: Are you giving any thought to that three-day Canada trip as a possible return, just to have a target to shoot for?
SMYTH: There are always positives, for sure, but I’ll see what the doc says on Saturday and then I’ll know more. For me to speculate on something, over the top of the doc, I don’t want to do that.”
Question: On the other hand, you don’t want to risk getting injured again, right?
SMYTH: “Exactly. I want to make sure that once I’m recovered, I’m going to be healthy to carry on. As far as getting injured in a game, it could happen. It could happen on any part of my body. But you want to make sure that you’re 100 percent going in.”
Also, I asked Terry Murray if that red jersey Smyth wears in practice is supposed to be a “stop light” for teammates during drills…
MURRAY: “He has a different color sweater on, to remind other players on the team that this is an unusual guy out here and please have caution with going near him. … You can go hard to a player, not not finish hard. I think that’s what our guys have been doing.”