Isles Files

Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.

DiPietro clears the air

First of all, sorry for my lack of posts over the weekend. Was consumed with covering my first Yankees-Red Sox series at Fenway! I promise I'll be posting much more frequently when I have all my reporting time devoted to the Isles :).

Yesterday, however, I spoke to Rick DiPietro about his rehab status. I know this is a topic that causes (and rightfully so) and breeds anxiety among lots of you, so I wanted to hear straight from him (and Garth) about how he's doing.

Basically, this is how Rick explained it to me: He is being cautious and easing his way back onto the ice. He began skating last week, will skate more again this week, get into pads soon and go from there. Given the organization's initial timeline (DP to begin skating in August, will be with team for Camp in September) and their off-season moves (signing both Roloson and Biron to ensure DiPietro doesn't rush back prematurely), it should not be surprising that he is where he is for the time being.

DiPietro said that regardless of whether he was returning from injury, he'd be easing his way back in with his on-ice summer workouts. Given the circumstances last year, he's being extra cautious. He's taking it slow and adhering to a strict timeline the organization has settled on...and I'll keep you all updated when I hear more about what that timeline includes.

One thing DiPietro was emphatic about was the reason he has declined to discuss the injury much, if at all. He does not want to be a distraction to the team and he understands that for the past couple years, more has been written about him getting hurt than his play. He's a competitor and that kills him. This year, he doesn't want to make the same mistake by rushing back.

"The only thing I want to be in the paper for is winning games," he told me last night.

Also, despite speculation that he might want to take himself out of the mix for Olympic consideration, that's untrue. DiPietro expects to be healthy by the time they make their decision and thinks it would be crazy not to play if he's able.

"If I'm healthy, why would I not want to play?"

OK, off to more Yankees, but I'll try to check back in later :)

Tags: islanders , Garth Snow , Rick DiPietro

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