Questions Still Abound On Josh Norris' Health

Josh Norris' shoulder problems last year limited him to just eight games. But eight months after surgery, there is still uncertainty about the Ottawa Senators star forward heading into the start of the season. 

Per hockey insider Frank Seravalli, "If you were to ask me on a scale of 1-10 what's my level of concern for Josh Norris the player? It's a 9."

The 24-year-old missed 74 games last season, and 16 the year before with the troublesome shoulder. There was some thought that he might get into a preseason game, or perhaps be ready for the Season Opener next week, but the latest comments from head coach DJ Smith still leaves that in question. 

“Little bit of — I don’t know if it was a setback — but we’re hopeful he plays on Saturday,” Smith said when asked about Norris’ absence from the Sens practice on Thursday.

While the coach suggested that Norris is healthy, the 35-goal scorer (2022) "just doesn't feel 100% comfortable yet," relays Senators reporter Jack Richardson. 

“We’re not going to put him in a situation if he’s not 100 percent mentally there. He’s really close,” Smith had said just over a week ago. Was the coach questioning his 'mental readiness' to play? 

The only silver lining about Norris not being ready for the season could be the possibility of placing him on LTIR, thereby making room to finally get RFA Shane Pinto under contract. 

This is a situation to watch as the Senators near their opener, next Wednesday. 

Photo: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports