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Playing with pain

Stars insist Morrow's ankle really broken

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Posted: Monday May 22, 2000 07:38 PM

  Brenden Morrow Morrow says ice and milk helped relieve the pain in his fractured ankle enough to allow him to return for Game 4. Robert Laberge/Allsport

DALLAS (AP) -- A broken bone in Brenden Morrow's right ankle was supposed to knock him out of the playoffs. Instead, the Dallas Stars' rookie forward missed just two games.

Another case of playoff gamesmanship? Hardly, insists Stars coach Ken Hitchcock.

"I think there's some people that are a little bit confused about his injury," said Hitchcock, who didn't help matters by declaring last week that Morrow wasn't likely to return. "It's a fracture.

"The fracture site is definitive, it's really a matter of swelling and pain. If he's able to play without the ankle swelling up, then we're in good shape."

Hitchcock compared the break to the one suffered by center Mike Modano in last year's Stanley Cup finals. Modano, though, broke a bone in his wrist and played with a cast.

Morrow taped his ankle and played 13 minutes, 26 seconds in Dallas' 4-1 victory Sunday. There was minimal swelling overnight and he walked through the dressing room Monday with only a slight limp. He's expected to play in Game 5 Tuesday night, although how long is still in doubt.

"I think we all wondered what it was going to be like today when I woke up, but it never swelled up too bad," said Morrow, crediting ice and milk for his quick recovery. "The pain never got too bad."

"Who's to say it was ever broken?" Modano said, smirking. "It depends on who is reading the X-rays. Everyone is day-to-day in the playoffs."

Morrow said he's seen the crack on the X-ray, but he's not sure where the damage is. All he knows is that it's not to either of the major bones on the inside or outside of the ankle.

Morrow was injured after being tangled up with Colorado's Dave Andreychuk late in Game 1. He missed Games 2 and 3, but felt good enough to skate Saturday. The problem was, his equipment was in Dallas.

Morrow borrowed a pair of Modano's skates, then the team flew in the rookie's equipment just in case he might be ready to play Sunday. He was on the ice enough to make four hits and had a plus-2 rating.

"Some people can't play with that pain, but he feels he can," Hitchcock said. "Whether it gets to the point that it's too uncomfortable and he can't perform, time will tell."

Related information
Game 4: Hull of a game
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