Back in shape after surgery, Lightning C breaks his left fibula.
By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 11, 2002
Brian Holzinger worked hard to rehabilitate from last season's shoulder injury. He worked so hard, he said he was in the best shape of his career.
Still, it could not stop trouble from striking ... again.
The Lightning center on Tuesday broke his left fibula, just above the ankle, during an informal workout at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. He will be out 3-4 months, though he said surgery at this point is not being considered. He said more X-rays will be taken today.
It is a crushing blow for Holzinger, 29, who scored once last season and missed 52 games with a torn left rotator cuff that required surgery.
"There's no question I'm frustrated, disappointed and (mad) all at once," Holzinger said from home. "I felt I came a long way from my shoulder injury. I started skating June 1, and it's the best I ever felt on the ice conditioning-wise. I was skating real well and looking forward to camp and getting back to where I used to be as a player."
"There's nothing you can say," center Brad Richards said. "It's just bad luck for him the last 12 months. Hopefully, for him, that's the end of it."
Holzinger, scheduled to make $1.25-million, was hurt on a play he made many times without incident. With about 20 minutes left in the practice session, he swung around a net while trying to take a shot. His skate caught in the ice and stayed anchored as he fell.
"There was nobody around," Holzinger said. "My blade just got caught in a rut on the ice."