BOSTON – Boston Bruins centre David Krejci will stay away from the team for the next 3-5 days while he is quarantined with the swine flu.
General manager Peter Chiarelli said Thursday that the team’s medical staff confirmed a diagnosis of the H1N1 virus that will keep the 23-year-old forward at home. The Bruins have told the rest of their players to continue to take precautions to avoid infection, including washing their hands frequently and using the hand sanitizers that have been installed throughout their facilities.
“We told them … to get to us early if they have any symptoms,” Chiarelli said before Boston’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chiarelli said the Bruins are in line for H1N1 vaccines, but they are a lower priority than people who are more susceptible to the infection, like children and pregnant women.
“It’s not available to us,” Chiarelli said. “There’s higher risk groups.”
Krejci, Boston’s second leading scorer last season, will be kept away from the team until he has had no symptoms or fever for 24 hours.
The Bruins, who had been shut out in their previous two games, were already without forwards Milan Lucic, who is recovering from surgery on his broken right index finger, and Marc Savard, who is expected to miss another two to four weeks with a broken left foot.
“We’ve just got to deal with our own issues and hope that he gets better quickly,” coach Claude Julien said. “That’s the reality of what’s going on in North America these days and we have to all be aware of it and do the best we can, and our team has done that. Our doctors and everyone involved, we’re taking all the precautions we can to try and avoid it. But unfortunately it’s all around us.”
Other NHL players who’ve said they had swine flu include New York Islanders captain Doug Weight, who missed three games; Washington forward Quintin Laing, Edmonton defenceman Ladislav Smid and Colorado goaltender Peter Budaj.
After scoring 22 goals with 51 assists last season, Krejci received a three-year contract worth more than US$11 million a few days before having hip surgery in June. In 14 games this season, he has one goal and four assists.
The team said Krejci started to feel sick after Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to the Red Wings in Detroit.
“It’s kind of been like that so far this year, one thing after another,” forward Blake Wheeler said. “It definitely hurts having Dave out, but we have guys that can step up in his place and hopefully get the job done.
“In our sport, or I guess in any sport, you have such close physical contact with guys, you’ve just got to be careful and you’ve got to take all the necessary steps – using hand sanitizer, making sure that you aren’t putting your hands in your eyes, stuff that your mom taught you when you were little.”