Jordan Eberle: bullet dodged?

At the risk of being accused of practising medicine without a licence, it looks to me like the Edmonton Oilers might have dodged a kill-shot to the head when it comes to Jordan Eberle’s left ankle.

When Eberle, 20, emerged from the back room to talk with reporters at Rexall Place this morning, he did so without his ankle encased in that clunky walking cast he wore out of the building after Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames.

That’s a fashion accessory defenceman Ryan Whitney, who I’m betting is going to get some bad news next week, as in the need for surgery to repair his right ankle, is still dragging around.

While Eberle won’t even have an MRI until Tuesday to take a second look at his ankle, which has already been X-rayed, he was dressed in tennis shoes and walking without much of a limp this morning.

All in all, Eberle didn’t look or sound like somebody destined for a long-term stint on the shelf or an impending date with the arthroscope. Amateur diagnosis? Absolutely.

BACK IN DAYS?

While Whitney hasn’t been able to hide his disappointment at the likelihood he’ll be out long-term, perhaps for the balance of the season if surgery to repair tendons is needed, Eberle was upbeat today.

"It’s been getting better every day," Eberle said. "I think it’s kind of a thing where I don’t think they want to rush it, but, at the same time, like I said, I don’t think it’s as serious as it looked."

With captain Shawn Horcoff and Whitney already out and the defence as thin as a New York runway model on a cocaine and nicotine diet, the Oilers can ill afford to lose Eberle for any length of time.

Again, though, nobody in the media scrum — granted, none of us bright enough to get near medical school with a map and a flashlight — walked out of the dressing room today feeling Eberle will be out long.

Dave Mitchell, the bald and brash local CTV sports director, even asked if Eberle might be ready to go against the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday. That might be a stretch, but not much of one.

IN THE MEANTIME

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Eberle make the trip to Vancouver for a Friday date with the Canucks. If his ankle doesn’t blow up on the flight to the west coast, he might get away with missing just two games. If not, the Oilers are in Dallas next Tuesday. Again, strictly an amateur diagnosis with the MRI yet to come.

As far as tomorrow against the Red Wings goes, Renney will have to juggle his lines. This morning, he ran Magnus Paajarvi with Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky, Taylor Hall with Andrew Cogliano and Dustin Penner, J.F. Jacques alongside Gilbert Brule and Ryan Jones and Steve MacIntyre with Colin Fraser and Zack Stortini.

With the call-up of Liam Reddox and Linus Omark from Oklahoma City this afternoon, you’ll see Renney whip out the blender and come up with some new combinations tomorrow.

In any case, it’s looking like days, as opposed weeks or months, before Eberle is back in the fold.

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

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    “Amateur diagnosis? Absolutely.” Too bad you have to prance around like that, have to put out the disclaimer for all the nerd police out there cyber land.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    As i gaze into the wonderful crystal ball i won on Oilersnation.com, i can see the Oilers pushing Jordan back within that first week Robin suggested, he’ll tweak it and be lost for another 4-6 weeks.

    Another small victory in our Quest for Couturier, can we trade Roy for that all world Benjamin Conz kid who plays goal for the Swiss?

    All abord the Couturier,Larsson and Conz express!

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    ~lines blended again? f-ing mact and the mact blender, we all know mact ruins the kids with mixing up the lines all the time. Fire Mact!!!!!!!!!!~

    huh? what? hmm

  • bigguy13

    I’m glad for Ebs, he can continue to develop this year now. Thats what this season is all about.
    And, we still have a chance at Couturier. He looked impressive today, as did Hamilton, and I don’t think Roy was as bad as Pierre “I am a failure” Mcquire made out. Team Oilers.

    • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

      Pierre “I’m a failure” Mcquire…Funniest thing I’ve heard since “Stuart says he fine with gash”.

      Props to you, sir, as I DESPISE Pierre the motormouth.

  • KPUZ

    Maybe this injury to Eberle will be a wake-up call to Tom Renney. Somebody needs to start protecting our vital offensive weapons, for which there are very very few. It is obviously not going to be anyone currently on the team. Stortini and MacIntyre are too slow to even get to the play to start a fight. JFJ, Jones, Fraser, Strudwick, Vandermeer have been too passive. Penner, when he wants to be, is a beast. This is about once every 22 games or so. We probably have one of the most inept offenses, as usual, in the NHL. Other than Hall, Eberle and Hemsky, everyone else is playing in fear of their own shadows.

    • What’s the wake-up call reference when it comes to a hockey play?

      There was nothing dirty about the play involving Eberle. It was a rub-out along the boards in which he fell awkwardly.

      The hit on Horcoff was a case of players not seeing each other and colliding. There was no intent. The other player could just as easily have been injured.

      Hemsky’s groin strain happened in practice. Ryan Whitney hurt his ankle pivoting after a puck. Where’s the need for a wake-up call in those cases?

  • longbottom/P.Biglow

    I like your wording Robin, “amateur diagnosis.”
    But the MRI might show other damage. I am holding my breath for Ebs. I have many experiences with MRIs and further damage is always shown there.
    but I am on board with ELPH and it won’t matter who we pick as long as its the best available player.

  • longbottom/P.Biglow

    Eberle has been on par, if not exceeded expectations this year, taking into consideration the oilers are last in the western conference. Glad to see this is not a serious injury.

    Too bad oklahoma will have to do without two of their most offensive players. Ever since Linus Omark was called up, the Barons have taken a slippery slope down the standings. Let’s hope Alex Giroux is up to the task.

  • ebbandflow

    Robin

    Here is a topic for your sleuthing skills.

    A few medical fans have posted over on LT that Whitney’s current injury is related to his foot problems, that a serious ankle problem was “when” not “if”.

    Could you find out if that is true and Tambellini neglected his due diligence on this?

    Or is the ankle injury 100% no relation to the foot? I know he hurt his ankle in a rut in the ice, (nice job Northlands) but Stauffer said on his show with Jack Michaels on Wed that Whitney had been having ankle problems for a few weeks. You also mentioned in your post the day of the Buffalo game that Whitney left the ice at practice with a sore ankle, so it is more than getting into a rut in the Buffalo game.

    Look forward to the report.

  • 9 Inches Uncut

    Ah to be young. When I was 15 my knee gave out during my martial arts class and made an awful popping sound. I couldn’t walk on it and my mom took me to the doctor. They threw on a zimmer splint.

    2 days later I took it off and was no worse for wear.

    Mind you that knee gave out a few more times the next few years…

  • Saw Whitney at the Pint last night. He was, uhhh, “self-medicating” so to speak. Told him to get better soon. So, really, when he comes back weeks ahead of schedule it’s pretty much all thanks to me.

    YOU’RE WELCOME NATION!

    *Ascends back to the rafters*

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I have aquired photographic evidence containing images of Wanye sleeping with both Tiger Woods and Brett Favre…..is there a way to post partially edited pics on here?

    There’s a fair bit of glitter involved but the evidence is pretty damning.

  • Sorensenator

    LOL! I always see Oilers at the Pint. I’ll never forget last year when Mike Comrie, Robert Nilsson, and Sam Gagner were sitting together and they had the hottest babes flocking to them like it was their job. LOL

  • EBERLE UPDATE FROM THE JOURNAL TODAY

    “OIL DROPS: A team spokesman said the official word from the Oilers is that Jordan Eberle has a left ankle injury and is day-to-day. TSN’s Darren Dreger, evidently tipped off by Eberle’s agent, says it is an ankle sprain and the winger will be out for 10 days …”