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Lilja Feature_Iss 4

Lilja Feature_Iss 4

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Published by news4043

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Published by: news4043 on Feb 10, 2010
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10/18/2011

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RED WINGS TODAY 43 42 RED WINGS TODAY 
I
t’s a date that Andreas Lilja won’t likely forget, though he’d like to.February 28, 2009.That’s when Lilja’s life changed the mo-ment a right upper-cut landed on his jaw,dropping the Red Wings’ rugged defense-man to his knees.It’s been a year since that fateful sec-ond-period encounter with Nashville’sShea Weber, and Lilja is still plagued by headaches, which have kept him out of Detroit’s lineup.“Sometimes you maybe feel it’s a littlebit boring with practices and stuff, but I’dgive everything to be back playing,” Liljasaid. “I think you learn to appreciate yourposition in life and the different thingsthat can happen to you when you play. Ithink it’s awakened me a little bit.”In the days following the Nashville game,
LILJA REMAINS UPBEAT, DESPITE SETBACKS
BY CHRISTY HAMMOND
Smartphone interactive scan here 
B
Lilja Feature_Iss 4.indd 2-31/20/10 1:42:06 PM
 
RED WINGS TODAY 45 44 RED WINGS TODAY 
Lilja suffered from concussion-like symp-toms that he described as annoying, nag-ging, and that made him woozy. He didn’texperience headaches with his previoustwo minor concussions. However, Liljabelieved he would return to the ice in acouple of weeks. Two weeks following theinjury, the Swede remained hopeful abouthis return to the ice.Unfortunately, Lilja’s headaches re-mained, forcing the Wings to place theeight-year NHL veteran on long-term in- jured reserve on March 10. Even though hecouldn’t contribute on the ice, the Swedishdefenseman – who had signed a two-yearcontract extension in 2008 – remained anessential member of the organization, evenlending his time for numerous live chatsessions on the team’s official Web site.But by late December, Lilja experiencedmore good days than bad. He typically would going 2-3 days without headachesbefore they’d return and the cycle startedall over again.In October, during the team’s trip to theWest Coast, forward Brad May recom-mended that Lilja see a kinesiologist spe-cialist in Vancouver. Lilja saw Dr. DonaldGrant and went headache-free for fourdays after his appointment, which wasthe longest headache-free stretch for Liljasince the injury.The Wings miss Lilja’s 6-foot-3 frameon the third defensive pairing, espe-cially during last spring’s Stanley Cupplayoffs, as he usually logs a lot of timeon the penalty kill and was among theteam-best in blocked shots. He finishedthird on the team behind defensemenNiklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart with92 blocked shots despite playing only 60games last season.
POSITIVE THINKING 
Lilja Feature_Iss 4.indd 4-51/20/10 1:42:09 PM

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