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Mrazek thankful second groin injury of season was minor


Petr Mrazek's groin injuries have been well-documented at this point, and he suffered another one on Dec. 3 in a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers. He exited at the end of the second period after stopping 21 of 22 shots and was expected to be out for at least one week.

"I felt some discomfort early in the second period and I battled through it in the second after talking with the doctors," Mrazek said after practice on Saturday. "They didn't see that it would be a good idea to come back and I'm glad that they made the decision for me because I wanted to come back but it could be probably worse than it was, so I'm glad."

Fortunately for him though, the severity wasn't as bad as the first one and the previous ones. It was the opposite side of his groin from earlier in the season that kept him out for three weeks.

"I felt a little discomfort on the other side, it wasn't anything like it happened on the right side," Mrazek said. "But you have to be careful with those injuries because once you injure one side, there's always a big chance that you're using the other leg more, so I just have to compensate it."

Five days after suffering the injury, Mrazek was already on the ice for the Blackhawks. He skated on his own Thursday, joined the team for morning skate on Friday and practiced on Saturday.

Mrazek is actually hoping to return for the next game on Tuesday against the Washington Capitals, and Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said that's not out of the realm of possibility.

"He’s feeling better and I know yesterday he said he felt good and today again," Richardson said. "Tomorrow’s an off day and then Monday, as long as he keeps going upward, he should be back in the lineup for us. Playing or not, we’ll make that decision Monday, but definitely off the injured list, I guess."

In July, Mrazek said he visited with many different specialists, physiotherapists and chiropractors to help get to the bottom of his groin issues. He ended up altering his offseason workouts and admitted he physically felt "really, really good."

In November, Mrazek doubled down on that, telling NBC Sports Chicago that he believes his groin injury history is "going to turn around." He still believes he's on the right track in the long run.

"You don't think about injuries when you're playing," Mrazek said. "You never know what happens and you just have to do the things right to prevent that and to hope that nothing happens.

"The things I've been working on all season long and started in the summer doing it, still right now with all the trainers here and with the staff. Hopefully that's the positive sign: if something happens, it's nothing big, so I just have to keep doing that."

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