Clarke MacArthur has been held out of the lineup for quite some time. It all started with a collision with former Senators’ goaltender Robin Lehner late last season that forced both players to sit out the rest of the year. From there, MacArthur had the offseason to take a significant amount of time to heal from the injury and get prepared to try it all again in 2015-16.
Fast forward to now, Ottawa is without MacArthur who has been watching from afar after playing just four games so far this season with an all-to-familiar injury. Concussions on their own can be a very dangerous and scary thing for a player’s career. With MacArthur’s coming back-to-back (and back again), we’ve seen just how serious these injuries can be, and how long they can to come back from.
Concussions Had MacArthur Counted Out For This Season
It didn’t seem like anyone thought MacArthur would be back this season. For a while, no one had any updates on him. He wasn’t skating. He wasn’t with the team. You could easily assume he might’ve just been sitting at home in a dark room desperately trying to get rid of his seemingly non-stop headaches.
But, slowly, as the year has gone by, MacArthur has silently been drawing closer to a return.
It started with the almost cringe-worthy update that MacArthur had started to skate alone in the Canadian Tire Centre with the lights dimmed to prevent headaches. Fast forward once again, to a few months later.
Clarke MacArthur hasn't played since Oct.14, today is his first practice with the team since suffering a concussion #Sens
— Kyle Bukauskas (@SNkylebukauskas) February 3, 2016
Clarke MacArthur says he will try getting involved physically next week. Hopes to be back in March. #Sens
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) February 3, 2016
After months of waiting, now he has made some real progress and has a rough timetable.
MacArthur’s Return Is Crucial For This Team
There is no speculation that Ottawa’s season so far hasn’t been one to be proud of. And a return from MacArthur – the team’s 30-year-old veteran left-winger that is signed through the 2019-2020 season – could help turn things around. In two full seasons with the Senators, MacArthur has combined for 40 goals and 51 assists. The Senators showed their faith in his abilities as a top-six player after giving him a five-year $23.25 million contract extension in 2014. An impressive return from him could boost this team’s belligerently low morale.
At this point, there’s not much to lose. Ottawa Sun Writer Bruce Garroich accurately depicted that a MacArthur return could almost act as a deadline deal for the team, who lately has looked like they’ve run out of gas.
The only thought that will linger in the back of many people’s minds will be:
Could MacArthur be one bad hit away from the end of his NHL career?