March 23 2008 10:03PM
Mathieu Garon still won't say it's his ankle that's kept him out of the Edmonton Oilers line-up the last five games, but he admitted today he's been injured since March 7.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since coach Craig MacTavish made it public he's too banged up to play but not injured so badly he can't dress, Garon said he was injured in a 2–1 overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
"It's tough. It's never good timing when you get injured," said Garon, who is 26-18-1 with a 2.66 goals-against average and a .913 saves percentage. "At the same time, we're playing good and we keep on winning. That's positive, but, as a player, you always want to be back as soon as possible."
Garon, 30, played through the injury and made his 17th straight start March 13 in Colorado before being pulled with the score 3–0 in favour of Dwayne Roloson in a 5–1 loss.
He confirmed today he aggravated the injury going into that game four days earlier in Chicago when Matt Greene dumped 250-pound Blackhawks forward Dustin Byfuglien on top of him.
Garon and the Oilers hoped the ankle would settle down while Roloson carried the load, but when that didn't happen, MacTavish admitted his top stopper was hurt after a 4–1 loss to Vancouver last Thursday.
"I tried for a bit," he said. "I could maybe still, like, do it, but a little rest is good. We were trying to get it fixed."
With four games in the next six nights, including back-to-back games against Colorado and Calgary Friday and Saturday, the question now is whether Garon is fit enough to make a start.
"When we practice like today, I think it’s better for me to stay off," Garon said. "For the games, I'm all right.
"We'll see how it goes. Maybe tomorrow I'll go for a practice and see how it goes. For right now, it's just a matter of getting treatments and getting ready."
Roloson's allowed 13 goals in his last three starts, but the Oilers have won two of those and are 4–1 since he took over from Garon.
—Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 5pm on Total Sports with Bob Stauffer on Team 1260.