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Fedotenko feels sore after first scrimmage
By TOM JONES
Published September 17, 2005
BRANDON - No reason for worry yet, but Lightning forward Ruslan Fedotenko is slowly recovering from hip surgery and likely won't be in tip-top shape when the season opens Oct.5.
Fedotenko, who had surgery on June15 (not April as the Lightning originally reported), was cleared to participate in drills for the first time Friday but was not supposed to play in the scrimmages.
The good news is Fedotenko played in the scrimmage and even had a goal.
"(Team trainer Tommy Mulligan) and I talked about it, and I wanted to see how it felt," Fedotenko said.
How did it feel? Well, that's the bad news.
"Sore," Fedotenko said. "It's still sore."
Fedotenko said he was immobile for four weeks after the surgery, and that put his summer conditioning program on hold. He can skate but still is not allowed to run. Riding a stationary bike is painful.
Lightning general manager Jay Feaster said he is not concerned about Fedotenko but will hold Fedotenko out of the first three preseason games. He expects Fedotenko, who had 17 regular-season goals in 2003-04 and 12 more in the playoffs (including both in the 2-1 Game 7 victory in the Stanley Cup final), to be in the lineup on opening night.
"Right now," Fedotenko said, "I'm just taking it day by day and seeing how it progresses. We'll see."
DEFENSE DOINGS: The Lightning had a brief scare Friday when defenseman Cory Sarich was hit with a slap shot inside the left knee and did not return.
"The muscle seized up on him, and he had trouble moving," Feaster said.
By the end of the day, however, Sarich was feeling better and is expected to be back in action today.
Meantime, defenseman Todd Rohloff missed his second day with back spasms. There's never a good time for back spasms, but they could not have come at a worse time for Rohloff, a free agent trying to make the team as a sixth defenseman. Of the players vying for that spot, Rohloff is the only one with NHL experience.
After missing two days of scrimmages so far, Rohloff won't be ready to play in the first two preseason games, Monday and Tuesday.
"There is no question that it is a setback for him," Feaster said. "We would've liked to have to seen him in one of those first two games, but that's not going to happen."
SCRIMMAGES: Center Brad Richards had another goal and an assist and led Team Blue to a 3-1 victory over Team Black. In the other scrimmage, Team White, led by Vinny Lecavalier's goal and two assists, blew out Team Red 7-3.
Richards and linemate Martin St. Louis continue to dominate the scoring in the scrimmage tournament. After three games, Richards has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) while St. Louis has 11 points (four goals, seven assists). Team Blue is the only undefeated team.
TODAY'S SCHEDULE: The Lightning will have scrimmages from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. That will be followed by two hours of practice and off-ice conditioning.