The player who found himself unwittingly a part of an international NHL incident made his first public appearance in Los Angeles today. Colin Fraser, and his famously injured right foot, walked without a limp in Staples Center, but it remains unknown when Fraser might be able to participate in training camp.
Fraser joined the Kings in late June in the trade that sent Ryan Smyth to Edmonton. That trade remains disputed, with the Kings essentially claiming that the Oilers misstated the extent of Fraser’s injury. Fraser underwent surgery in July but said today he is uncertain when he might be able to skate at full strength.
FRASER: “I don’t know. I’m hoping to skate this week, but that doesn’t mean that I could just jump into scrimmages. I’m going to need a few skates to learn how to play hockey again. It’s been six months since I’ve even looked at my skates. Anyone who has played knows that it takes a few skates — never mind to get in shape, because I’ve been riding the bike and stuff — but just to feel comfortable again and get your timing down, your passing and shooting and things.”
Question: How frustrating was it, with the whole dispute and the questions about when you might need surgery?
FRASER: “It was very frustrating. It’s not frustrating (with) whatever’s going on between the teams. I don’t know, that’s between them, but the frustrating part is straight-up the injury. I broke it in March and here I am getting surgery at the end of July. Whoever is right and whoever is wrong, it doesn’t matter. I just wish I could have got it done a heck of a lot earlier so that I wouldn’t be in this position of, `Are you or are you not going to be ready for camp?’ I could put it behind me and just be ready for the 16th. Now it’s coming down to the wire and it’s going to be tight. But that’s the way it goes, that’s the way it went for me. Things are going onward and upward now and it’s getting better.
“At first, it was, `Let it heal. You don’t need surgery, let it heal.’ And it just wouldn’t heal. So then it came down to, `OK, maybe surgery is the option.’ If they did surgery every time somebody broke something…they can’t always do surgery. That’s how they explained it to me. `Why didn’t I get surgery in March?’ Well, they don’t do surgery every time somebody breaks a bone. Nobody could predict (that it would be slow to heal). I don’t care who you are, nobody is going to predict that it’s not going to heal. No one knows why it doesn’t heal. It just never got any better. It was still the same, from day one to the end of June. It didn’t hurt as much, but on a CT scan it was just broken.”