There appears to be a very good reason for Anaheim Ducks' forward Ryan Getzlaf's subpar offensive season.
In an interview with the Orange County Register, Getzlaf admitted that he had been playing not only with a sprained ankle but also with partially torn ligaments between the tibia and fibula in his leg since a February 8th collision with Kings' forward Dustin Brown.
"That was the initial injury," Getzlaf told the Register. "And then it kind of got better and things were moving the right way throughout the Olympics. And even the few games I returned to [afterward]. Obviously I aggravated it the one night here and then I aggravated it big time in Vancouver."
Getzlaf was nearly a late scratch for team Canada at the Olympics after suffering what was described at the time as a sprained ankle. He recovered in time to participate in the Olympics, playing through pain and helping Canada capture the gold medal.
After returning from Vancouver, Getzlaf aggravated the injury in a game against the San Jose Sharks on March 14th and then again on March 24th in a game against the Vancouver Canucks that prematurely ended his season.
After a career year last season, Getzlaf managed only 19 goals and 50 assists in 66 games for the Ducks this season. Anaheim finished 11th in the Western Conference with 89 points, six points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the final playoff spot in the West.
Getzlaf told the Register that he does not believe that he will require surgery and hopes rest and rehabilitation should be enough.
"We're going to let it sit right now," Getzlaf told the Register. "I just met with the doctors. Rehab it and all that kind of stuff. I think that we'll be fine."