Veteran skip Howard out indefinitely with left knee injury
Veteran skip Glenn Howard will be out of action indefinitely after suffering an injury to his surgically repaired left knee at a bonspiel last week.
Howard said his knee "seized up" on Saturday at the Nufloors Penticton Curling Classic in Penticton, B.C. The 61-year-old skip led his team to a 3-1 record before he was forced to sit out the last preliminary round game and the playoffs.
The four-time world champion hoped to meet with knee specialists and his surgeon over the coming days to determine next steps.
"It was swollen, I could hardly bend it and I had trouble walking," he said Tuesday from Tiny, Ont.
His son, Scott Howard, took over as skip and guided the three-man team to the title on Monday afternoon.
Scott, second David Mathers and lead Tim March beat Calgary's Brendan Bottcher in the semifinals before topping American John Shuster — with Chris Plys at skip — in the final of the $100,000 competition.
It was the first crown of the season for the Penetanguishene, Ont.,-based squad. The result also gave the team a berth in the Jan. 24-28 Ontario championship in Dorchester, Ont.
"In so many ways it was a big win," Howard said.
The elder Howard underwent left knee surgery in July 2022 to fix meniscus issues and make tendon repairs. The 61-year-old has dealt with "manageable" knee pain at times this season but this latest issue has forced him to take a break.
Howard said the team was in strong form when he noticed the sliding knee issue late in a 9-2 win over Victoria's Neil Dangerfield at the Penticton Curling Club.
"All of a sudden, it just blew up," Howard said.
The Penticton title gave Howard some extra recovery time if needed. The team's schedule is now open until the provincial playdowns since an appearance at a last-chance qualifier in early January is no longer required.
However, Howard's on-ice training and practice sessions have been ruled out until doctors determine a timeline for his return.
The winner of the Ontario championship will represent the province at the March 1-10 Montana's Brier in Regina.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2023.
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