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Friday, January 24, 2014

Avs' Tanguay ready to return Friday night


By on 1/24/2014 10:12:00 AM

Hockey players are tough.

They're rough and tumble, always have their linemate's backs and aren't afraid to drop the gloves and get into a scrap to inspire their team - physically, they may be the toughest competitors on the planet.

Psychologically, they are just as vulnerable as any other human being.

To hear players like Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos and Colorado's Alex Tanguay talk about coming back from a major injury reminds us that underneath the pads, head gear and brutish exterior, their psyche is just as frail - but they are Hockey players, and they will suck it up.

Tanguay addressed the media on Wednesday and shared some thoughts to that end, and also to confirm that he will be back in game action on Friday night in Sunshine, Florida as the Avalanche travel to meet the Florida Panthers.

"I'm nervous to see how everything's going to feel out there." The 34-year-old right winger remarked, "As much as you do in practice, you don't get the same checking and intensity as you do in a game."

Then added,  "But I'm excited to get back."

The Avalanche are excited to get him back as well.  The veteran winger scored three goals and helped on six others in 13 games before getting accidentally bulldozed by his own teammate in a game against the Montreal Canadiens and leaving the game with what was thought to be a knee injury - but the real problem was discovered during an ensuing MRI.

His left hip had sustained some damage, and given Tanguay's medical history - he had surgery on his right hip nine years ago - the nerves settled in as he feared another surgery was forthcoming.

But now both issues have been resolved to the point that Tanguay is going to give it a shot on the ice against the Panthers.

"It turned out not to be as good as we wanted. Now I seem to be in good enough shape to play, and hopefully I'll be good to go and be fully healthy until the end of the year." he said, adding "I'm happy now and I'll cross my fingers that it will go well."

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