The Lethbridge Hurricanes, who currently sit sixth in the Central Division with a record of 5-12-3-1 on the season, have been battling injuries all season long as eight different players have missed time this season due to the injury bug.
The ‘Canes began the season without the services of Kade Jensen who missed the first four games of the year before returning to the line up October 3rd against the Kamloops Blazers. Giorgio Estephan missed the first six games. Andrew Nielsen was injured for opening weekend against the Medicine Hat Tigers, while Pavel Skumatov missed time after suffering an upper-body injury in the third game of the season.
While those four have returned and are currently healthy, the ‘Canes have been without the aid of some key contributors, but, they are slowly progressing and getting healthier as the injured players are getting closer to a return.
The Hurricanes have taken Miles Warkentine off the 60-day injured reserve list and he should likely play this weekend as the ‘Canes begin a stretch of six games in nine days. Warkentine has been injured since the second game of the season and has collected one assist in two games this year.
Carter Folk, who has been sidelined for the last three weeks after suffering an upper-body injury on November 1st in Kootenay, is inching closer to a return. Folk has been skating this week at ‘Canes practice in a regular contact jersey but is still listed as Day-To-Day and could make his return this weekend.
After suffering a lower-body injury early in the Halloween game against his former team the Brandon Wheat Kings, Ryley Lindgren is progressing well. The 18-year-old is still likely to be out for the next four-to-six weeks. Lindgren had picked up three assists in two games before getting hurt on a slew-foot by Ivan Provorov.
While every player missed to injury is a major blow, one of the biggest question marks surrounds star 16-year-old goaltender Stuart Skinner. After competing at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sarnia, Ontario earlier this month, the Edmonton product returned to the Hurricanes but suffered an upper-body injury in practice his first week back. Skinner, who has a 3-1-0-0 record in his last four starts boasts a 1.33 goals against average and a .963 save percentage in those three wins, is likely another week to two weeks away and may have a Black Friday return penciled into the calendar, however, that is not for sure.
The silver-lining to seeing a total of 48 man games lost thus far for the Hurricanes is that the injuries are coming early in the season rather than at the end when you’re pushing for a playoff spot. Once the injured players return to the line up, the ‘Canes hope that they will re-establish the results they saw before they were hammered with an injury bug.