DETROIT — Kris Draper planned on skating Wednesday morning at Joe Louis Arena for the first time since injuring his groin in Traverse City.
It didn’t happen.
Instead, Draper continued to work off ice with trainer Piet Van Zant.
“Did a little more range of motion, but not good enough to test it right now, so there was no sense in going out there,” Draper said. “Today was probably the most I did on it. Just kind of see how it feels tomorrow and go from there. Got to be smart, day to day. Just being patient.”
Draper injured his groin on the second shift of his first intra-squad scrimmage. He got his left leg tangled with a player in front of the net.
“At this time of the season I never had anything like this before,” Draper said. “You have all summer off you train hard. We were here for two weeks, I had great skates, felt so good going into camp. Just kind of freaky thing happened. It’s frustrating, it’s disappointing, but what are you going to do? Just deal with it. When it feels better, I’ll go out and skate and go from there.”
The timing of the injury could not have come at a worse time for Draper, who will be battling for ice time on the fourth line this season.
“I’ve injured it before, but not this early,” Draper said. “That’s the disappointing thing. I had three months of training to prepare myself for this camp. I was looking forward to it and it happens so early. Being injured sucks, it’s never fun, especially this time of year, having the longer summer, I was looking forward to getting back on the ice and competing. Hopefully every day it gets a little better, a little stronger. I got to be smart. Can’t have any setbacks. I got to be smart about it.”