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Posted at 02:24 PM ET, 04/21/2011

Dennis Wideman ‘getting close’ but there’s no timetable for his return

On Thursday, defenseman Dennis Wideman spoke with reporters for the first time since suffering a leg hematoma following a hit by Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu on Mar. 29. Although he said he’s making progress in his recovery, Wideman made it clear that there is no firm timetable for him to return to the lineup.

“It’s coming. It’s getting better every day. It’s a bit of a slow process. But I’m getting close,” Wideman said before being asked if he had a timeframe. “No. Not really. They haven’t said anything to me. I’m just going it as kind of a day-by-day thing. Like I said, it’s getting better. Hopefully before the end of next week I’ll be out practicing with the guys.”

Wideman has been skating regularly since Apr. 15 after he spent at least 11 days in a local hospital where he underwent surgery to drain the blood and remove the pressure that was building in his leg. He was on the ice again at KCI prior to meeting with media members, but when he headed to the dressing room after some laps, the defenseman was walking gingerly to get off the bench and head inside.

Wideman said he isn’t experiencing pain when he’s on the ice, though, and that he’s working on getting his stride back. “The only time there’s pain is when I’m in the training room.”

While it’s a slow-moving recovery process, Wideman said he is definitely happy to be out of the hospital. He was asked to describe what the prolonged stay was like.

“Boring. Boring. My day? Yeah, it was long days,” Wideman said. “There wasn’t much I could do in there so I was just kind of sitting around playing video games and watching TV.”

Mike Knuble, who missed Game 4 after taking a shot off his right hand in Game 3, previously relayed how hard it is to watch a team compete in the playoffs while on the sidelines, and Wideman had the same sentiment.

“It’s not fun watching games, let alone playoff games,” Wideman said. “When I came here I was excited and ready to get going and try to help the team, but they’re playing well and doing great. It’d be a lot tougher if we were down.

“It’s nerve-racking,” he added. “I’m sitting at home watching on TV and it’s not fun. I’d much rather be on the ice helping.”

By  |  02:24 PM ET, 04/21/2011

 
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