Tim Thomas will not play tonight when the Panthers travel to Boston to take on the Bruins, Thomas’ former team. Thomas is recovering from a lower-body injury he sustained against the Chicago Blackhawks on October 22nd.
Thomas was a full participant in yesterday’s practice and there was a chance he could return tonight when the Panthers played the Bruins at the TD Garden but Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen told the Sun-Sentinel that Thomas will not play.
“We’ll be bringing Tim on the road trip but right now, he’s still on injured reserve.” Dineen said. “I can’t say when yet. If things continue as they have in the last couple days, it will be in the near future.”
What a story that would have been right? Thomas coming back from an injury to make a glorious return to his former stomping ground. Bruins fans are having quite the week as former Bruins Tyler Seguin made his first trip back to Boston on Tuesday after he was traded to the Dallas Stars over the summer.
I think it is the right call to keep Thomas out tonight. Thomas just returned to practice so if it were any other opponent tonight, Thomas’ returning would not even be a question. Thomas is 39 years old and is playing in the NHL after taking all of last year off. We have already seen what that combination does to a player as Thomas has already suffered two lower body injuries in the six games he has played. The injuries weren’t of the freak injury variety, they seemed to be simply the result of getting old. Its like when you are a little kid playing basketball with your father and after about ten minutes he gets too into the game and forgetting his age, gets too ambitious jumping for a rebound and comes up lame holding his back, or hamstring, or calf or whatever muscle decided to stop working that day. He then tries to shake it off and keep playing trying to hide his frailty but ultimately has to call it quits and retreats to the house to nurse his injury and have a beer.
39 is old when it comes to athletics. Hell, I am only 23 and I already think my body is falling apart. If Thomas were a civil-war historian, he would have long lustrous career ahead of him but as a professional athlete, his days are numbered. What I am getting at is, under no circumstances should you be rushing back from injury when you are in Thomas’ position. The only thing that will come out of rushing back is another injury. It maybe okay for someone in their mid-twenties to push their bodies to recover early from injuries (ie. Russell Westbrook, Adrian Peterson) but for Thomas, the best option is to wait, regardless of the possible sentimental value of the game at hand.
What do you think? Would you like to see Thomas in the net tonight against the Bruins? Think he should wait until he is 100% ready? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and follow The Rat Trick on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest.