Drury Is On the Road To Recovery
Thursday, 03.1.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Buffalo Sabres | Press Release
Seeing highlights of the blindside hit more times than he would've liked, Drury has already put the incident in his rearview mirror.
"Trying to succeed in this game and to have some kind of baggage like that, carrying it around out there, it will probably only distract me," said Drury about the possibility of seeking revenge on Neil if he was given the opportunity. "I just want to help the team win and have success that way.
"I'm not carrying around any grudges or anything. Life is too short and your career is too short to be worrying about that stuff."
The Sabres co-captain skated prior to Monday's practice with Jaroslav Spacek and assistant coach James Patrick and could be game ready by next Wednesday's contest against the Colorado Avalanche.
The 30-year-old center has missed the last three games after being knocked unconscious by Neil in Buffalo's 6-5 shootout victory on Feb. 22.
"These things happen. It's a physical game. It's a rough game. There are a lot of big guys out there. You just have got to deal with it. Overall I think I'll be fine."
Drury's view on the hit, and his desire to move ahead, isn't surprising to the rest of the team.
"As I said, he's very professional," said Ruff. "He's moving on already and his focus is to get ready to play. It's no use in going back to it and regurgitating it at all any more. He's very professional when it comes to that."
Drury decided to look at the positive aspect out of the hit that has left him sporting a black and blue eye and 20 stitches. For him, it was seeing the team as a whole stick up for their captain and cohesion of their actions.
"It was great," said Drury concerning how his team reacted. "I didn't get to see it but I heard it while I was getting stitched up. I thought everyone came together.
"If you had asked me before the event if we could have got closer, I probably would have said no, but I definitely think it got us closer. Not just as a team, but the whole organization, so it was pretty good to see."
One would expect a player to take it easy when they are recovering from an injury, but that wasn't the case for Drury's practice session today.
"He was going to skate on his own but actually took advantage of James Patrick skating out there with Spacek," said Ruff. "He joined in on the latter part of that skate, and got a pretty good workout. That's a big step in the right direction for us.
"We're just going to go by where the doctors take us and how Chris is feeling. We're not going to hold him back. If they say he's ready and he wants to play, he'll kick the door down. We’re going to do what's right and go from there."
"Every day is another step," said Drury of getting back onto the ice. "Today was a good day and we'll see how tomorrow is."