Injury and status for tonight

Okie dokie, I'm back from my meeting and have some more substantive information regarding Mathieu's status for tonight and the rest of the season.

Things that have been RUMORED:
  • Mathieu's rotator cuff is torn
  • Season-ending surgery is necessary
  • Despite necessary surgery, Mathieu will play tonight
Things we know FOR SURE:
  • Montreal doctors' initially suggested surgery
  • Mathieu sought a second opinion from a specialist in New York
  • Mathieu suited-up and joined teammates at practice this morning (shooting the puck, albeit fairly gingerly)
  • GM/coach Bob Gainey confirmed that "it is a good possibility" that he'll play
See the TSN.ca video, or read the story from TSN, the Montreal Gazette, the Globe and Mail, or ESPN.com. And here's a little something en francais from RDS. I'm sure it says the same stuff (I can't read it), but everything sounds better in French.

Pros of playing tonight:
  • giving the team an emotional boost
  • even at half strength, he's as useful on the power play as any other opinion Montreal has
  • he'll have all summer to "repair" the damage and heal (he's a fitness nut, so he'll work very hard, no doubt)
  • giving GMs everywhere a heads up that he's not done yet (rememer, he has no contract for next year and has said he wants to continue playing; much harder to get a deal as a 40 year old with a bum shoulder)
Cons of playing tonight:
  • Not being all that useful, or worse, a liability
  • Not being able to make it through the game, leaving Montreal with a short bench
  • Possibly risking further injury that would be harder to fix and/or overcome
On number alone, the pros outweigh the cons. But on severity, I'd say the cons outweigh the pros. That's just my initial reaction for the admittedly sparce details I have available to me. He, his doctors, his family, and the team have the best information possible, and I'm confident he'll make a careful and thoughtful decision about what benefits both the team and his health.

So will he....

I guess we'll see in a few hours...

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