It's been a difficult season for Milan Lucic, who has been more a fan than his usual corner-dwelling self this season. First, it was a broken finger, now it's a leg injury that's keeping him from his typical body checks and haymakers. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Looch — about a half-dozen tall light towers at 4 Yawkey Way.
The winger has played just 10 games this season due to his injuries and last took the ice in Minnesota on Nov. 25 — just four games after missing over a month of action.
It was in that tilt against the Wild that Lucic spilled to the ice in a tangled heap of Black and Gold flailing body parts. Although he limped off the ice in a lot of pain after what looked to be an excruciating tumble, the winger was diagnosed with nothing more than a high ankle sprain. In fact, he's even ahead of schedule. He's been riding a stationary bike and even walking the streets of New York City to promote the Winter Classic.
"It looks pretty good right now," he told NHL.com from the Big Apple. "I'm almost two weeks into the injury. It's unfortunate for me this year, going from breaking my finger to having a high ankle sprain. Usually it's like a 4-5 week injury and so far it's going really well. Hopefully I'll be back for the big event."
Lucic may feel good, but he still has to follow the doctor's orders and take his time returning to the ice.
"I haven't started skating yet," he added. "I think that's going to start next week and we'll see how that goes. This type of injury is a sensitive injury. I have to be real careful with it and take all the right precautions. We're doing the right things and I'm hoping for a quick recovery."
If he remains on this pace in his recovery, the winger will be back with the squad in time to join them on the Fenway Park pitch. After a couple of years watching other teams enjoy such an incredible experience, Lucic is amped to take the ice at the MLB's oldest and most beloved ballpark.
"I watched both of them, real good games," he said. "The first one was a great one, the snow started to fall in the third period, they had to Zamboni the ice every 10 minutes. Last year was such a success. It looked really cool and as a player you want to be a part of it. The fact that I get to be a part of it so early in my career is great. I had a lot of fun watching it."