Claude Giroux injured his right hand playing golf Aug. 15. (USA Today Images)
Right winger Jason Akeson was standing on the opposite fairway at an Ontario golf course watching Flyers captain Claude Giroux try to dig a ball out of the turf.
“He took a pitching wedge and just to punch the ball out,” Akeson said. “He took too much ground and the club snapped in half.”
Giroux walked over to Akeson after the club snapped.
“We gotta go,” he said.
“Why?” Akeson asked.
“I cut myself.”
“Let me see it.”
Giroux showed Akeson a horizontal cut across the bridge of the top of his right hand that sliced two tendons.
“My first thought was, well, I’m bleeping panicked,” Giroux said. “We hurried to the hospital. They repaired the two tendons on the hand but the tendons go all the way up to the elbow,” he said. “The cut was only on the hand of the index finger.”
That was Aug. 15, hours before emergency surgery at Ottawa Civic Hospital to repair the damage.
Wednesday, Giroux was on the ice at Skate Zone in Voorhees doing skating drills but not shooting pucks. That is still weeks away.
“All I can do now is get in game shape,” he said. “It’s obviously hard because you need to play a game, but it’s a lot of start and stops. That’s what I am doing.”
He is scheduled to be examined by a doctor later Wednesday for a checkup on how his right hand is progressing.
“Tomorrow will be three weeks,” he said. “I could probably do more than I am, but I don’t think it is worth doing to push it.”
Some media around North America have questioned the circumstance around his injury. Giroux said he doesn’t know why people were doubting he was injured on a golf course, the day he was supposed to appear in a tournament sponsored by the Ottawa Sun.
“I don’t know why [people think otherwise], but I’m not worried about it,” Giroux said. “Whether it’s bad or good in the papers, I don’t pay attention. People can think whatever they want. Right now, I just focus on my rehab.”
Giroux insists he will be ready for the regular season opener Oct. 2 at home against Toronto and would like to get at least one exhibition game in, but there are no guarantees he will play in the preseason.
“I will be ready for the season, but I am not going to force it,” he said. “If I am healthy, I’m playing and I want to. I would like to get a game in to get the feel for a game first.”
He is still not allowed to use his hand for stick work, although he carried a stick all through his skating drills on Wednesday.
Recall when the lockout ended last winter, Giroux came into camp in January having had offseason surgery to both wrists plus also having suffered a neck injury playing overseas in Germany.
He was, however, healthy. He says he feels this is a season where everyone wants to show that not making the playoffs last year was a fluke.
“We’re not happy with the results from last year and I feel we have something to prove to ourselves,” he said. “Guys are working hard already. The guys look good. They’re pumped.
“Really, this is probably the season I am most excited about, too. It’s a young team that wants to prove last year was pretty tough. ... We just have to do that work on the ice. I worked out for four months. Guys worked hard.”
Most of the veterans have arrived and seem eager to get going. All of them are talking about "something to prove." ... Goalie Ray Emery is not here yet but Steve Mason is. ... Players say Ilya Bryzgalov is still here at his South Jersey home. He has not found a team in Europe or the NHL. ... Vinny Lecavalier spoke highly of former Tampa teammate Andrej Meszaros.