Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Bernier Avoids Serious Injury

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Bernier Avoids Serious Injury

Article excerpt

After initially fearing right wing Steve Bernier suffered a "fairly serious" injury when he crashed into the boards trying to hit defenseman Brendan Smith in the third period of Wednesday night's 3-1 loss in Detroit, Devils GM and coach Lou Lamoriello said Bernier was greatly improved Thursday and might even be back on the ice this morning.

"He's much, much better and it looks like he's OK," Lamoriello said. "What happened was his leg went dead on him the way he hit a nerve. I don't know the explanation, but he lost feeling in the one side. So, he's OK. He was here [Thursday] morning and got treatment, but he's going to be fine. So, that was good news."

Lamoriello said he "would doubt," though, that Bernier will play in tonight's home game against Montreal.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he tried skating in the morning, but I doubt [he'll play]," Lamoriello said. "It's doubtful. Let's put it that way."

Still, the prognosis is much better now than after Wednesday's game. Bernier had to be helped off the ice by teammates Eric Gelinas and Adam Henrique, putting no weight on his left leg. He was able to walk out of the locker room after the game on his own, but with a noticeable limp.

Doctors at Joe Louis Arena recommended Bernier go to the hospital in Detroit because he had temporarily lost feeling in his leg.

Lamoriello said Bernier underwent X-rays, "scans, everything you could possibly do."

"We waited for him with the plane to see what they were going to do," Lamoriello said. "And they said he could come back, so he did. You saw him walking, but [with] what transpired you've got to make sure it wasn't something [serious]."

There was some other positive news on the health front Thursday as Patrik Elias and Michael Ryder, both recovering from the mumps, skated at Prudential Center along with Jacob Josefson, who also was sick this week, but did not have the mumps. …

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