Kukla's Korner Hockey
by lsefton on 08/20/11 at 03:57 PM ET
It’s good to see that Hiller will be able to attend the upcoming Ducks’ training camp, after missing the latter half of last season after coming back from the NHL All Star Game with what the MD’s likely called "Idiopathic Positional Vertigo". The emphasis is on the "idiopathic", which is a medical-speak for "We don’t have a clue, let’s run more tests!" The tests continue until they either find out what the problem is, or the vertigo goes away on its own.
Having vertigo is like having a permanent seat in the first car on Space Mountain. Even when the vertigo isn’t in the full-blown whirlies and falling over stage, there’s a low level nausea that keeps you from eating or sleeping properly. This is one of the aspects of vertigo that Hiller and the trainers will have to watch out for—the low level vertigo can wear you out and wear you down, and what looks like Hiller "losing a step" may actually be the vertigo not having let completely loose.
I noted that Hiller can’t give a date as to when the symptoms cleared up. That’s a pretty typical reaction—he woke up one morning, and probably felt good for the first time in a very long time. And after getting checked out by the MDs one more time ("We can’t figured out what went wrong, but you seem to be over it now. Keep the antihistamines and the cortisone around just in case, though okay?"), Hiller has likely been getting healthy weight back on, getting built back up, and getting ready for camp.
I’ll be interested in seeing what weight he comes in at. That’s going to be a big indicator of whether Hiller will have enough in reserves to make it through the season without fading out. And once he starts practicing at camp, Hiller and the Anaheim training and medical staff will have a better idea is "feeling good" is truly feeling good. However, letting Ray Emery look elsewhere for a goaltending job indicates that Anaheim is feeling optimistic abut Hiller being ready for the beginning of the 2011-2012 season.
For Hiller’s sake, I hope he’s completely clear and can continue with his goaltending career. He deserves the chance to show what he can do now that’s he’s back to the game.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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