Injured trio looks good in practice

Times Staff Writer

Chris Pronger was shoving people around and making life difficult on the ice. Jean-Sebastien Giguere was moving side to side in goal, making saves. Francois Beauchemin was letting loose slap shot after slap shot.

They were back to doing what they do best Thursday. And the Ducks couldn’t be happier.

They’ve been missed dearly, judging by the 2-7-2 record since Beauchemin and Giguere went out of the lineup Dec. 26 (Pronger was injured five days later). Though he wouldn’t commit to proclaiming them ready for Sunday’s game against Dallas, Coach Randy Carlyle said there is “vast improvement.”

“They’ve worked hard over the break on their own,” Carlyle said. “It’s good to see them back on the ice.”

Pronger, who skated hard and made sharp cuts in some drills, said he can still see the slight cracks in the latest X-rays of his broken left foot, but he added that it is healing.


“Sometimes your adrenaline and your instincts take over and you just do stuff,” he said. “Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s what you kind of have to do. You’ve got to push it and see what [the foot] will let you do.”

Giguere said there was no problem with his groin after the long workout. Before the injury, the veteran goalie was having the best season of his career with a 23-4-5 record and 2.17 goals-against average.

“Obviously there’s a little bit of timing that’s a little off,” Giguere said. “But three days of good practice should be enough.”

If anyone is set for Sunday, it is Beauchemin. The defenseman said his spleen is fully healed, and he doesn’t think it will keep him from playing his usual physical style.

“It was bad, but it wasn’t a painful injury,” Beauchemin said. “I was feeling good, but I was just unable to play. I had to wait and let it heal.”

Not everything is fine. Scott Niedermayer saw a specialist to further examine the stress fracture in his right foot, and it appears that he won’t practice until given clearance by the team’s medical staff.


Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald were given the day off after playing in Wednesday night’s All-Star game.... Sebastien Caron, the team’s third goalie, remains day to day with a broken finger he aggravated before last week’s game against Calgary.