RYAN WHITNEY: ABOUT THAT ANKLE . . .

Robin Brownlee
August 24 2011 10:54PM

What if Ryan Whitney's right ankle doesn't hold up? That's a question that's been rattling around my cranium since I interviewed Whitney on Aug. 13. I'm guessing it's a question that Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini has asked as well. Of that, I can't say for sure.

I've listened to the interview, on Nation Radio, two or three times since Whitney and I chatted, and I've got to admit that now, as then, I'm not completely convinced the ankle will be 100 per cent by the time that training camp opens.

More important, whenever Whitney is ready, how will that surgically repaired tendon that detached respond when he starts pushing people and they start pushing back in game action? And how long will it hold up?

I don't have any inside information here. Neither Whitney nor anybody with the Oilers or involved in his rehab has told me anything on the down-low about progress, or lack of same, with the ankle.

But after procedures to re-align bones -- Whitney's left foot was done in August 2008 while he was with Pittsburgh and his right foot was repaired during the off-season after he was acquired from Anaheim -- and having watched his ankle come apart, doubt seems reasonable.

And nothing Whitney told me here in Segment 4 of Nation Radio was convincing enough that I'm confident he's put his medical issues behind him. Again, no inside info, just gut-feeling stuff.

WE'LL SEE

Somebody asked me today what the outlook for Whitney's ankle was, and if the injury that put him out after 35 games and kept him out after surgery, had anything to do with his previous foot surgeries. I suspect they're connected, although I don't know it for sure.

My amateur diagnosis is that Whitney's abnormally high arches resulted in all kinds of wear and tear to the tendons and ligaments in his feet and ankles as the body compensated. I've seen guys with bad knees wear out hips, stuff like that.

In this specific case, one might have nothing to do with the other. Then again . . . So, aside from a ready-date and questions about the durability of the right ankle, what about the left?

We saw what Tom Renney's defence looked like without Whitney for 47 games in 2010-11. Do you have confidence the defence as it stands going into camp -- Tom Gilbert, Ladislav Smid, Cam Barker, Theo Peckham, Andy Sutton and Taylor Chorney or Jeff Petry -- can hold up without Whitney? I don't. Did Tambellini add enough depth to cover his backside if Whitney is out of the equation? Not that I can see.

Maybe I'm crossed up on this one, drawing the wrong conclusions from the interview, but the questions about Whitney's ankle nag me no matter how many times I listen to his answers. I'm nervous.

The Oilers should be, too.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 Archaeologuy
August 25 2011, 02:00PM
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@mayorpoop

SB Nation. CnB is a supported blog on there.

I would love Oilersnation/The Nation Network of sites to have their very own app, not be an affiliated blog on a list of 300+.

Mainly I just wanted to complain*

*Mission Accomplished

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#52 Dog Train
August 25 2011, 04:06PM
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The season hasn't even started yet. Do we already have to start worrying about injuries? We've had enough injuries over the past few years.

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#53 OILERSORDEATH
August 25 2011, 04:46PM
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Completely off the subject, can someone tell me the dates for the Rookie Tourny on Pendicton?

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#54 Master Lok
August 25 2011, 05:08PM
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Insurance is already here. That's what Jason Strudwick is here for.

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#55 Oilcruzer
August 25 2011, 05:15PM
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Doittambo wrote:

McCabe... I said MCCABE. do it Tambo.

Someone been overdosing on Leaf Koolaid again. Most over rated defenseman, ever. Horrible player. They fooled Toronto while he was there, convincing the fan base he was something.

Oilers need a strong veteran D man who is good on the PP as a backup plan? How about Sheldon Souray?

Oh. I forgot. How brilliant.

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#56 pelhem grenville
August 25 2011, 06:00PM
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Chris. wrote:

Whitney's fine... Tell him to stop being such a baby and make sure his ass is in training camp on time! I played on a broken ankle for cryin' out loud!

*Lowe slams the phone and continues work whiting out Souray's name from old game sheets.

...that's harsher than i bargained for Chris

...he's all we got thanks to our GM

pass the fragile stickers

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#58 They're $hittie
August 25 2011, 06:28PM
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has anyone played the nhl 12 demo yet. Keep in mind the game is made in burnaby when you play it. The demo is set up to play the third period of a game between boston and vancouver. The canucks are at home. When you start the game the canucks are up 3 - 0 with one period left. What a bunch of self entitled losers. You didnt win the cup. Also some how the goaltending is rated 97 to 91 in favour of the canucks.

totally lame.

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#59 Shapeman
August 25 2011, 08:14PM
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They're $hittie wrote:

has anyone played the nhl 12 demo yet. Keep in mind the game is made in burnaby when you play it. The demo is set up to play the third period of a game between boston and vancouver. The canucks are at home. When you start the game the canucks are up 3 - 0 with one period left. What a bunch of self entitled losers. You didnt win the cup. Also some how the goaltending is rated 97 to 91 in favour of the canucks.

totally lame.

I played the demo but I was Boston and we were up 3-0 so I dunno why you had the Canucks up.

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#60 They're $hittie
August 25 2011, 08:28PM
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Shapeman wrote:

I played the demo but I was Boston and we were up 3-0 so I dunno why you had the Canucks up.

okay still gay though

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#61 Rufus
August 25 2011, 09:18PM
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@Oilcruzer

I forgot, the Oiler Koolaid makes you think Gilbert is a superhero :) McCabe won't be here in 2 years to take a position, and doesn't cost a prospect.

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#62 Small town dreams
August 25 2011, 10:36PM
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For all those who say "o well if we suck again we'll get a top d-man in the draft". That may be true but at best how long before that stud d-man is ready to be a top d-man! Two maybe three years. Not acceptable get a weber type now. Wait three more years for that young d-man and the young talent we have will be so sick of losing they will be on the first flight out here! IMO

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#63 Oilcruzer
August 25 2011, 10:56PM
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Rufus wrote:

I forgot, the Oiler Koolaid makes you think Gilbert is a superhero :) McCabe won't be here in 2 years to take a position, and doesn't cost a prospect.

Ummm no. Gilbert is an overpaid 2nd pairing but thanks for playing. (Moron)

Re McCabe... Players who suck are not positive options.

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#64 WeepForTheSin
August 26 2011, 09:54AM
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Small town dreams wrote:

For all those who say "o well if we suck again we'll get a top d-man in the draft". That may be true but at best how long before that stud d-man is ready to be a top d-man! Two maybe three years. Not acceptable get a weber type now. Wait three more years for that young d-man and the young talent we have will be so sick of losing they will be on the first flight out here! IMO

While it isn't certain, I imagine at least one of the top D prospects this year will be NHL ready immediately. It's about as deep for D as 2008 was.

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#65 madjam
August 26 2011, 11:21AM
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Whitney needs to invest in duck tape and a good pair of orthodicts . Skate boot made for comfort and light weight that is flexible enough to help prevent shin splints and heel spurs . Normal skate boots make your feet feel like your wearing concrete boots with his type of condition and shin splints and heel spurs develop rapidly to make matters worse . Can always add outside boot cap for additional protection .

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#66 Small town dreams
August 26 2011, 02:29PM
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@WeepForTheSin

Ready or impactful as a Shea weber type. That's what I was meaning

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#67 Thw Other John
August 26 2011, 03:22PM
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Robin

Maybe if we are unsure play him 20 minutes a game instead of 25+

...... just sayin

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#68 oileradado
August 31 2011, 03:23AM
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what is whitney,s foot ailment is it the same as forrisburgs?

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#69 slipstream
August 31 2011, 06:38AM
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I live in Pittsburgh and remember being sad when Whitney was traded, because I liked him as a player and a person.

But even back then, one of the "in the know" media members said Whitney's foot/ankle problems were so significant that getting rid of him would prove to be prudent in the end.

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