Tim Connolly is injured again. After missing Monday's practice, Maple Leafs head coach, Ron Wilson, announced that Connolly would miss up to two weeks with an upper body injury unrelated to the one he suffered during training camp. Leaf fans shouldn't be surprised with this news, as they knew what they were getting when "Tiny Tim" signed as a free agent in Toronto, although we're sure they didn't expect it to be this bad.
Here's a list of his career injuries:
2003-2004: Connolly misses the entire regular season with post-concussion syndrome after a hit in the preseason.
2005-2006: Connolly misses all of February with a knee injury, returns for four games before suffering another knee injury and missing another 7 games. Returns for the playoffs putting up 11 points in 7 games before suffering a concussion in the 2nd round and missing the remainder of the playoffs.
2006-2007: Misses 80 games with post-concussion syndrome before returning for the playoffs.
2007-2008: Misses 5 games in November with a strained oblique muscle. Misses 2 games before the Christmas break with an illness. Misses 13 games with a groin injury, returns for a short stretch before missing 1 game with a groin injury. Misses 1 game with a hip injury, returns for 2 games before sitting out the remainder of the season and playoffs for hip surgery to remove bone spurs.
2008-2009: Begins the season by sitting out 10 games with 2 cracked vertebrae as a result of a butt-end during a preseason game. Connolly returns for 5 games and is levelled by Keith Tkachuk suffering a broken rib; he plays through the pain for one game before sitting out 24 games. Connolly returns to finish the season with 47 points in 48 games.
2009-2010: Plays 73 straight regular season games - the longest since 2002-03 - before suffering a foot injury after blocking a shot and missing the remaining 9 games of the regular season. Connolly would return for the playoffs in which the Sabres would be knocked out in the first round.
2010-2011: Missed 8 games with a groin injury. Misses 4 games after nasal surgery required from an off-ice fall while dancing. Missed 2 games with a hip injury. Missed Game 7 of the Conference Quarterfinals after being pushed headfirst into the boards by Mike Richards.
2011-2012: Misses the first 8 games of the season with an upper body injury suffered after a crash into the boards during training camp.
You can't help but feel for Connolly and his bad luck. Some of these injuries have been quite serious and painful, while some are quite funny like the nasal injury. He's literally been injured all over his body, but still battles to stay in the league when most players might have hung up their skates. In his past 7 NHL seasons, Connolly has missed 272 regular season games due to injury or illness - that's just over 47% of games missed from injury. That's a lot of tests, a lot of rehabilitation, and a lot of hard work to get back into game shape - which you have to respect. Brian Burke took the risk on The Man Made Of Glass, and Leaf fans will have to wait another two weeks to see the reward.