There has been yet another twist in everyone’s favourite current hockey controvesy. It was not the player himself (as first hinted), nor the Senators hatred for Sweden (contrary to popular belief on the right side of the Atlantic pond) – that is stopping Mika from participation at the World Juniors tournament in Ufa, Russia. No, the latest reason comes from the vice president of the Swedish Hockey Federation, who was quoted in Swedish publication Expressen today:
“We’ve had a good dialogue with Senators management this past week, but Mika have not been able to be on the ice for ten days due to medical reasons. ... Ottawa want Mika to get healthy and we understand that now that he’s been ill for a long time. They waited over the weekend to see if he would get better, but he didn’t. Had Mika been healthy, Ottawa would’ve liked to see him play at the WJC.”
Now, this could easily be chalked up as damage control. Seems a convenient out for the Swedish Federation as the Senators didn't appear to be bending to their guilt trip.
Nevertheless, on their face these comments are both confusing and worrying. Confusing as since this story broke each new day has seemed to bring a new angle or clarfication, hell even Alfie's weighing in. Worrying, because this is not the first time Zibanejad has dealt with headaches this year.
✚ January 10, 2012: Zibanejad played in one game after his golden vacation in Calgary, AB, before sitting out with a mysterious illness.
✚ January 24, 2012: Returns to the ice for one game, and woke up with headaches the next day. He was diagnosed with a concussion.
✔ February 4, 2012: Returns to game action.
✚ April 12, 2012: After going to Binghamton intending to play two games over the weekend, Zibanejad suffers another concussion after colliding with a teammate in practice.
✚ November 30, 2012: Misses his first game of current injury period due to headaches caused by his wisdom teeth, which he then had removed. Also picked up a throat infection, and has not returned since.
The on-call Sens fan doctor, Jo Innes, author of the terrific The Quiet Room blog over at The Score helped shed some lights on headaches caused by wisdom teeth.
“Wisdom teeth can certainly make you miserable. Headaches aren't uncommon. With dental x-rays, no other symptoms (ie nausea/balance/etc) I'd think it wouldn't be too difficult to differentiate between a tooth headache and concussion problems. Obviously you couldn't be 100% sure until you took the teeth out and the headaches resolved.”
Now, that is re-assuring since it seems to be relatively easy for professionals to figure things out. Hopefully, he can get back on the ice sooner rather than later, because if there's one thing Zibanejad needs when he's healthy again, it's to put together a good string of hockey games.
I also hear chocolate milk is good for you.