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Ottawa Senators: Injured Captain Karlsson likely to return next week

There’s disappointment for the fans and management of the Ottawa Senators, as Captain Erik Karlsson would be unavailable throughout their march in Western Canada.

General manager Pierre Dorion announced to the travelling media at the club’s downtown hotel on Wednesday that “there would be no speed recovery” for the club’s top defenseman.

This comes as sad news,as the Senators were rather optimistic that their captain and best player would be able to join the starting line-up as early as the Saturday night fixture against the Edmonton Oilers—a game that would wrap up their three game road trip.

The rather athletic player would have to remain sidelined, as he recovers from a tendon surgery he had on his foot in June. The club though, are quite optimistic that he won’t be out for much longer.

We’re hopeful that he will play at some point in time next week,” Dorion said.

Dorion said Karlsson needs to be comfortable, and has been skating at the Bell Sensplex with injured teammates Johnny Oduya and Colin White while the team is on the road.

“We’re very, very hopeful that he’ll be ready next week.”

The Senators are obviously in need of Karlsson, but can’t risk bringing him on too early as the season is still long, and he would need to achieve full fitness.

“With Erik I know he’s putting in a lot of hard work on the ice and in the gym to come and help this team sooner than later,” Dorion said. “It’s just conditioning. We all know when Erik steps into our lineup he’s not going to play seven minutes. He’ll play his usual 25-to-30 minutes. So he needs to get back into great shape and that’s the most important thing right now.”

The Senators, plagued with injuries to Ben Harpur, Oduya, and Karlsson, had to bring in reinforcements during a 3-2 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks, Tuesday at Rogers Arena. Oduya though, is bided to join the team in Calgary and play against the Oilers on Saturday night.

Club prospects Thomas Chabot and Christian Jaros have had to fill in the gaps in the Senators’ defence. Thus far, with four points in their first three games, they have done a commendable job without Karlsson. They both performed solidly as Dion Phaneuf, Cody Ceci, Mark Borwiecki, Chris Wideman and Fred Claessonshouldered the rest of the responsibilities.

“I think we’ve been able to get the maximum out of the guys that we want to.” Dorion said.

“Guys have stepped up. We always felt that one of our two strengths was goaltending and our depth on defence. When you have all those guys then you bring up guys like Harpur, Jaros and Chabot and they go into the line-up and they don’t hurt you at all, there are not many teams that can say they do that. We’ve always felt we’re dealing with a position of strength at the most difficult position to play in the league.”Despite his somewhat lengthy recuperation, Karlsson is gearing up as he anticipates his return.

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