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Ducks’ McSween to Test Hand in Minor Leagues

TIMES STAFF WRITER

As the first anniversary of his gruesome wrist injury approaches, Mighty Duck defenseman Don McSween is preparing to go to the minor leagues to determine if his hockey career is over.

“It’s a day of reckoning,” said McSween, who suffered serious nerve and artery damage last Jan. 21 when his right wrist was slashed by the skate blade of Winnipeg’s Keith Tkachuk. “Now it’s a case of moving on. If two weeks from now I know it’s over, then it’s over. I’ve been realistic all along. I still think I can do it.”

General Manager Jack Ferreira said he plans to send McSween to Baltimore for a week or two, probably when the Ducks leave on their next trip later this week. McSween has practiced and traveled with the Ducks all season, trying to hone his skills.

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“I’ve done just about everything I can,” said McSween, 31. “You can work out until you’re blue in the face, but it’s not changing. The only thing to do is get in a game situation and see how it responds.

“I haven’t shown a lot in tight situations battling for the puck with the stick. Hopefully in game situations adrenaline will take over, and whatever I need to compensate will happen in games.

“I’m realistic. It might be the end of the line. This is the last test, or the next-to-last test, and for me to get a chance I have to show I can play with it--not just play, but play well.

“We knew when it happened it was possibly a career-ending injury. . . . The hand hasn’t physically improved in four or five months, and after a year, the doctors say it doesn’t improve at all. What I’ve got is what I have.”


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