Cleary back at JLA
"This is the first day I've been able to open it and keep it open ... Is it open now?" said Cleary. "This is the best it's been. ... There's been a lot of pain in the eye. It almost hurts just to keep it open. It closes on its own. I've just been sleeping a lot. I haven't done anything, to be honest with you."
Cleary first felt the effects of the first cornea scratch six weeks ago. The medication he was taking to help in the latter stages of the first cornea scratch became inflammatory when used for the fresh undiscovered second scratch. That caused a setback. Neither the first nor the second scratch happened while skating.
"It was healing," said Cleary. "In order to heal the vision, you've got to use steroid drops. The steroids are the worst thing for the scratch. What's good for one thing is bad for the other. Right now, my eye is healing, but my vision is suffering. After the scratch heals, I can go after the vision. You can't heal both at the same time."
Cleary's eye looks remarkably bad, very cloudy, very red. Today was the first day that he was able to do off-ice workouts. He said he's hoping for a return on Thanksgiving week.
"I have everything going bad for me in order to get a scratch," said Cleary. "I sleep with my eyes open a little bit. I don't blink fully. I have dry eyes. There's lots of things we're going to do once this heals and get the vision better this week."
General manager Ken Holland said that the team isn't going to put Cleary on the Long-Term Injured Reserve to free up salary cap space for another forward. A player has to be out for 10 games on the LTIR.
"We've got enough players here," said Holland.