Ty Rattie sat out practice Friday while wearing a neck braceSome of the mystery as to what exactly is ailing Portland Winterhawks forward Ty Rattie -- the WHL's leading playoff scorer -- was lifted today when Rattie was able to speak to the media about his injury.
The most welcome news for Portland fans is that team doctors have confirmed that Rattie does not have a concussion. But that doesn't mean he's out of the woods yet. He watched practice while wearing a neck brace, and still remains iffy for tomorrow night's Game 5 between the Winterhawks and the Kamloops Blazers. Portland leads the series 3-1.
The Oregonian's Jim Beseda has some more details from today:
As he watched Friday's practice at the Winterhawks Skating Center from the sideline, Rattie wore a neck brace that Portland general manager and head coach Mike Johnston said was part of Rattie's therapy. "The most important thing is to get treatment for Ty," Johnston said. "It's really a neck problem. There are no concussion symptoms. He said his pain seems a little bit better today and they're just trying to take pressure off it right now by having him wear a brace."
Johnston said there is a chance that Rattie could play, depending on how his level of pain and the extent of his mobility at game time. "He has to be able to play well in order to play," Johnston said. "We have other guys that are ready to step in if he's not ready. I'm hoping it won't take more than a couple days if he's not ready tomorrow night." (The Oregonian)
The WHL announced today that the Blazers' JC Lipon has been suspended indefinitely for checking Rattie about 12 minutes in to Kamloops's 5-4 victory. Portland led 4-0 at the time of the incident, and the Blazers scored five unanswered goals to steal the game after Rattie departed with the injury.
Lipon was not penalized for the play, but Johnston asked the league for supplemental discipline, contending that the hit was an illegal check from behind.
Using the league's past rulings in these situations as a guide, Lipon will probably be suspended for one game longer than Rattie is out for. However, the league could also weight a number of heavy hits that Rattie has absorbed in the series, including a butt-ending from Lipon in Game 2 that resulted in a four-minute penalty.
The live video feed of the game didn't offer a decent view of Wednesday's hit, leading to rampant speculation over where Rattie was hurt. Some who were at the game observed that Rattie was holding his lower back area as he went to the bench. But when Johnston described the check yesterday, he made a point of noting that Lipon "drove (Rattie's) head face-first into the glass."
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