03/25/2014 6:09 PM
The Pirates have seen their fair share of injuries this year. Tobias Rieder started the year missing six weeks, James Melindy battled through a knee injury and recently Jordan Szwarz has only just returned to action.
While most of the players have been able to get back on the ice this season, Mike Lee has not been so lucky. The 23-year-old has played in just five games this year for Portland due to a hip injury that flared up during training camp. Lee tried to play through the pain before he was shut down to fix the problem.
“I don’t even really know what they call it,” Lee said about the injury. “It just had to get shaved up and fixed.”
Lee last appeared for the Pirates Dec. 6 in relief of Mark Visentin in an 8-2 loss to the Worcester Sharks. Since that time, he has been a scratch as he tries to rehabilitate, slowly trying to gain back some of his strength and flexibility.
“You lose a lot when you’re on crutches for a while,” he said. You just have to try and get everything back. It’s a little different when your hip is shaped a little different than it used to be.”
Lee has been away from the ice for a while as he builds up his strength again and he is truly starting to miss facing shots and making saves.
“It’s boring and it gets old fast,” Lee said about being a spectator for the games. “It’s tough to watch, especially when the season hasn’t been going the way the guys want it to go. It’s hard not being able to contribute.”
Though he has not been able to get back on the ice, Lee has been able to keep his mind sharp as he has spent a couple of games in the broadcast booth with Pirates play-by-play announcer Jeff Mannix.
“It was fun, actually,” Lee admitted. “It’s a little different perspective on the game. You gain a little bit of respect for Mannix for all the work he has to do, it’s a lot of work, the guy’s a one-man show up there. It’s fun to see how he does it and fun to get on the radio.”
“Mike’s a very smart guy, he knows the game very well,” Mannix said of his part-time color commentator. “He’s pretty good at his analysis. Most goalies are, but he seems particularly astute and it’s always great to work with players because they give you a unique insight that you don’t necessarily get unless you played the game at this level so it’s always good to work with him for sure.”
Lee said he is still quite some time from returning to the ice and while broadcasting can keep him in the game, he is working hard to get back to playing.
“Hopefully it’s going to make me better and come back better next year.”
The rest of the Pirates will be back in action Wednesday when they host the Worcester Sharks at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. The Pirates will also host Providence on Friday night for the 2nd annual Purple Night presented by Central Maine Medical Center, and induct Tom Caron into the Portland Pirates Hall of Fame during Saturday’s VIP Cup Game, presented by VIP Tires & Service, against the Manchester Monarchs. Visit portlandpirates.com for all the details and call the Androscoggin Bank Colisee Box Office at (207) 783-2009 ext. 525 for tickets. Tickets are also available by visiting thecolisee.com.
The Pirates have announced eight guaranteed dates for the 2014-15 season as the Pirates return to the Cumberland County Civic Center! Group tickets are available for all eight of the announced dates and flex and season tickets for the 2014-15 season are now on sale! For more information on the guaranteed dates, click here and for more information on ticket plans, call 207-828-4665.