WINNIPEG —; Two injured members of the Manitoba Moose are nearing their return but it won’t happen during this weekend’s series against the Bakersfield Condors.
Thomas Raffl is once again taking full contact in practice. He was seen last week skating with the team but was wearing a red, non-contact jersey. The forward has missed essentially the entire year after dislocating his collar bone and breaking a rib in Manitoba’s season opener against the Marlies in Toronto. Raffl is still listed as week-to-week.
“It’s a little disappointing,” Raffl said. “I worked out hard all summer and prepared for the season. I just wanted to play but that’s life. You’re always going to be thrown back but you have to stand up and come back.”
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Matt Fraser meanwhile participated in his first practice on Monday since suffering his second concussion in as many years.
“Not being part of the team, working out on own and skating on your own, you can only do so much of it before it’s too much,” said the Moose forward. “Getting out there with the guys and being part of a practice is something I crave. It’s good to be back out there but it has to be baby steps to make sure I’m prepared when the puck drops.”
Fraser was injured by a brutal hit from behind in a match against the Milwaukee Admirals on October 29. Admirals forward Vladislav Kamenev was suspended two games for the blow.
“I don’t think you ever really expect to get hit from behind,” Fraser said. “It’s partially my fault for not being prepared. You have to make sure you’re on at all times but at the same time, that player has to recognize when he can see numbers that you can’t do that.”
The Moose will try for their first win streak of the season Friday when they host the Condors in the first of a two-game in three days set.