Ottawa Senators’ forward Clarke MacArthur has been working hard towards a recovery for most of the season after dealing with back-to-back concussion injuries.
It has been a long time coming for Clarke MacArthur. For months, he has been working his way to getting himself back into the Senators’ lineup. After facing a few setbacks, he has been adamant that he will make his return in the 2015-16 season.
Having travelled with the team on their most recent West Coast road trip, it looked like a return could be close. Although they knew MacArthur wouldn’t play on the three-game road trip, Ottawa anticipated his return coming soon afterwards. It was rumoured that he would be set to play his first game since Oct 14th at the beginning of March.
Clarke MacArthur on the ice as well. He could make his return for first time since Oct 14 tomorrow. #Sens
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) March 2, 2016
Unfortunately for him, Wednesday morning it was announced that he failed his base line test.
“I did the test yesterday and then I met with the doctors after and they weren’t completely satisfied with where I was…They assured me that I would be able to play this year at some point…They want to see me symptom free for a couple more weeks.” – Clarke MacArthur
At this point, you have to feel for him. MacArthur has had a tough year.
After signing a five-year $23.25 million contract extension with Ottawa, he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to fill it out. He struggled with consistency last year, posting 36 points in 62 games until he suffered his first concussion that began a very long road to recovery. Aside from how much you know he wants to make his return, the Senators want him back just as bad. In the midst of a playoff run with little hope left, their offense is struggling to remain consistent and desperately needs a spark. After Ottawa stayed mostly quiet at the Trade Deadline, they have equated MacArthur’s return to making a deadline deal for a forward.
“I am going to play this year” – Clarke MacArthur
Senators’ head coach Dave Cameron made it clear he and the rest of the team are deeply sympathetic towards MacArthur’s situation, as they all were expecting his return to be imminent. Along with that, he also spoke on the importance of being careful with not coming back too early, especially with an injury of this type and this severity.
“With the severity of it and the area of the head it’s certainly better to be real sure…Because you’re not just talking about a hockey career, you’re talking about a quality of life issue too…I know he’s really disappointed, he’s been working his butt off but…If you’re not cleared, you’re not cleared” – Dave Cameron
Although it would be great to see MacArthur make his return, you can’t help but think it may just be best for him – and most importantly his future health – to wait until next season.