Goaltender Al Jensen reported sharp pains in his left knee during the Washington Capitals' practice this morning. This latest episode in his recurring injury story apparently places Jensen's future in jeopardy.
"Al Jensen may be done," Coach Bryan Murray said, then added, "Maybe I shouldn't go that far. But at best, we're going to have to send him in for a total reevaluation."
Jensen suffered a strained ligament in the left knee on Jan. 9, during a 4-2 victory at St. Louis, the only game he has played since mid-November. After resting the knee for three weeks, Jensen resumed practice Thursday. He said after that session that the knee felt weak, but that it was "pretty good" for the first time back. He added, "I don't want to say too many good things about it, because you run out of things. I just can't believe what's been happening to me."
After today's practice, Jensen said, "I have no idea what's wrong. I'm not a doctor. I don't know what to do. I'm very discouraged. Hopefully, someone can give me some answers. I can't go down. I can't push off. I felt okay for a couple of days, then yesterday it hurt a bit. Today, it hurt some more. Obviously, it's still not right."
"Al has had four workouts and, until today, we thought he was showing progress," Murray said. "We told him not to overdo it, just to do what he felt he was able to do. He said he felt all right, then today the pains were back."
Jensen, who injured his back lifting weights last season, first injured his left knee Oct. 2 in an exhibition game at Minnesota. He played only four games before incurring a pulled muscle in his left side in practice Nov. 18. Following a lengthy recuperation, he played three games with Binghamton and rejoined the Capitals.