Thursday, April 21, 2011
By Chase Hughes
Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman, who hasn't played for three weeks because of a leg injury, said he expects to be able to practice by next week, though he hasn't set a time for his return to the lineup.
Wideman spoke to reporters on Thursday morning after the teams practice at Kettler Iceplex.
Its getting better every day. Its a bit of a slow process, but Im getting closer, he said.
It was a pretty bad injury that got worse, now every day Im in the gym stretching it and trying to get back.
Of his return, Wideman said exactly what coach Bruce Boudreau has told the media, that his status is day-to-day. But the defenseman did divulge a little more detail.
Hopefully, before the end of next week, Ill be out practicing with the guys, Wideman said.
The injury occurred after Wideman was hit by Tuomo Ruutu in a March 29 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Widemans injury at first seemed minor until a report two days later that said he was in the hospital nursing a hematoma in his leg.
At that point, details were still vague, however, teammate Mike Knuble told reporters of how other Capitals had seen cell phone pictures of the bruise. He called them graphic and also described the wound as being rather large.
Wideman said Thursday those comments may have exaggerated the injury.
There were some pretty ugly photos, but it looked worse than it was, he said.
Wideman has not played since the injury. He has missed nine total games, including all four of the first-round playoff series with the New York Rangers.
Its tough. Its not fun watching games on TV, let alone playoff games. When I came here, I was excited and ready to go and help the team, he said.
Its one thing to watch from afar, but seeing his teammates battle in a double overtime game at Madison Square Garden pains Wideman even more.
Its nerve-racking. ... Id much rather be out there helping, he said.
Wideman made it clear hes tired of being a spectator, but he did say his current stage of recovery is an upgrade from being in the hospital. Speaking of his nearly two-week stay, he said:
Boring. There were long days. There wasnt much I could do in there, so I was just sitting around playing video games and watching TV.
There was nothing I could do conditioning-wise. I was just sitting there, he said.
As for his status, Wideman reiterated he is improving and he cant wait to get back on the ice.
Theres no pain, Its just getting the stride back, he said. The only time theres pain is when Im in the training room.