DALLAS — Injured Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas was moved to tears in discussing the season-ending broken leg he suffered in a Western Conference first-round playoff series that is now tied 2-2 with Robidas’ former team, the Dallas Stars.
Robidas previously broke the same leg Nov. 29, worked to return to play March 18, then was hurt again Monday and lost for the top-seeded Ducks' postseason in a Game 3 collision with sliding Dallas forward Ryan Garbutt.
“I mean, it’s really hard,” Robidas said. “I’ve been waiting to play in the playoffs for the last five years … and … sorry. Just tough, you know.”
The Ducks acquired Robidas from Dallas on March 4 as a perceived final piece of their defensive puzzle. Teammates repeatedly called his loss "heartbreaking."
His absence Wednesday was compounded by the extended layoff of forward Tim Jackman (broken hand) and captain Ryan Getzlaf (upper-body injury) as the Ducks lost 4-2.
Robidas said he won’t require surgery on the broken fibula beyond a possible procedure to adjust a screw in the leg that was inserted as a result of the Nov. 29 break in a home game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Robidas said doctors told him he couldn’t board a flight for awhile, so he was thankful to be with family, close to his Texas home.
“Last two games I’ve played here, they’ve seen me go to the hospital,” he said. “It’s tough, but I believe things happen for a reason. I don’t yet know why. I’ve got to move on.”
He said he plans to play again, and is knowledgeable about the recovery plan, having just completed it.
“It’ll be a long rehab, lots of hours in the gym to get the strength back,” Robidas said. “I did it once and know what to expect.”
Garbutt called Robidas Tuesday to apologize and Robidas said he accepted, dismissing the collision as an accident.
“He’s diving for the puck … it’s bad luck, one of those things you don’t control,” Robidas said. “I said, ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s part of the game, nothing you can do about it.’ ”