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Stars forward to test ankle tonight
Dave Waddell, Windsor Star
Published: Friday, January 26, 2007


Dallas Stars forward Steve Ott has always played the game on the edge.

Crash, bang and occasionally burn is a typical shift for the former Windsor Spitfires star, so it's no wonder his teammates are eager to see what his first NHL shift in three months will entail tonight against Pittsburgh.

Ott hasn't played since mangling his ankle when Los Angeles's Tom Kostopoulous fell on the 24-year-old during a fight Oct. 28.

"I'll have butterflies and my heart will pound a little harder for sure," Ott said.

"I'm excited to get out there and see how far I've come. I'm sure the whole pace of the game will pass me by to start. They (teammates) can't wait to see my first shift."

Ott's broken ankle and torn-up tendons required doctors to use six screws to attach a metal plate to his ankle bone and lower leg. They'll remain there until after the season ends.

"It's kind of gross, feeling the screw heads under my skin," Ott said.

"My wife isn't too keen on it."

Ott has spent the past five days on a conditioning assignment at the Stars' AHL farm club in Des Moines, Iowa. He went scoreless in three games during that span and admits he still has some lingering soreness in his foot.

The Stars' forward said he could deal with the sore tendon on the inside of his foot but his real problem was the friction of the screws against his skate boot.

"I thought a screw was coming out," Ott said. "They had to make me a custom-fitted boot like Peter Forsberg. It's always nice to be mentioned with him."

However, the former Leamington Flyer said he was willing to endure just about any physical pain to escape the mental torture of sitting on the sidelines. The three-month layoff is the longest he's ever missed in a season.

Ott admits the only person more pleased to see him back to work is his wife.

"I put a lot of pressure on her," said Ott, who went on a couple of road trips to stay connected with his teammates.

"I couldn't even move around with her when I first had crutches.

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