The NHL All-Star break provided a well received opportunity for some of the NHL’s walking wounded to heal up and make a return to action. The ongoing Sidney Crosby injury saga has literally become a pain in the neck! Here is the latest injury news.
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins – Concussion – Soft Tissue – Indefinite
Crosby and Pen’s GM Ray Shero held a press conference Tuesday to address the latest development in Crosby’s injury. Crosby has a soft tissue injury and not fractured vertebrae. This is significantly good news as this condition is treatable, and not as chronic as concussions. "The biggest thing I can take from this is this is something I can work on. I can come in and get my neck worked on," Crosby said Tuesday night. "There is a pretty big possibility this [the neck problem] could be causing some of the issues. I hope that's the case and with treatment it will improve and hopefully that's the end of it." Shero spoke of Crosby’s long term health and career saying, "There's been no indication from any doctor where he would have to shut it down for the season or retire. We're going to try to manage these symptoms and get them under control and get a handle on this and get him back on the ice."
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers, Shoulder – Day-to-Day
Nuge was on the ice Tuesday morning for practice with the team. He is still not cleared for contact but said on NHL Network “It feels better and it’s progressing.” While he may be ready for contact practice as soon as Wednesday, he is unlikely to play before Saturday’s game.
Jeff Carter, Columbus Blue Jackets - Separated Shoulder –Week-to-Week
Carter is traveling with the team for their three-game road trip in California. Carter will be involved in team practice, but don’t expect him back into the lineup until he begins taking contact practice.
Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens – Knee – Indefinite
The news for Markov is that he is back skating, but is still not setting a timetable on a return..
Daniel Briere, James Van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia Flyers – Concussion – Indefinite
Both players returned to practice on Monday, but are still listed as indefinite. Expect a best case scenario return of a week or two.
Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild – Shoulder – Week-to-Week
FS North reports the Wild Captain returned to practice on Tuesday. Koivu will travel with the team when they leave Thursday to Colorado for a three game road trip. There is no time table for his return, but he may see action before returning home February ninth to host the Canucks.
Guillaume Latendresse, Minnesota Wild - Concussion – Indefinite
Latendresse returned to practice in a non-contact jersey on Monday. His last return from a concussion lasted only four periods so expect his return this time to be slower and more cautious.
Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres – Upper Body Injury – Day-to-Day
Buffalo News reports Vanek left Tuesday’s game in the first and did not return. Lindy Ruff said "He's going to be out for a period of time. ... Our initial thought is maybe a week, but our doctor is going to have to evaluate it. It's the type of injury we're going to have to dig a little deeper on."
Lee Stempniak, Calgary Flames – Lower Body – Day-to-Day
Stempniak left Tuesday’s game with a lower body injury
Jason Blake, Anaheim Ducks – Foot – Day-to-Day
The OC Register reports Blake left practice Monday with a lingering foot injury. Blake was placed on the injured reserve retroactive to last week and he remains as day-to-day, he will return to action as soon as he can begin practice again
Returned to Action after the Break
A number of players returned to the ice on Tuesday as the NHL resumed the regular season; Jaromir Jagr, Tyler Ennis, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, Victor Hedman, and Brent Burns. Also cleared to play are Marco Sturm and Brendan Morrow. The Toronto Maple Leafs will have both John-Michael Liles and Colby Armstrong back for Wednesday night’s rematch against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In the OHL, consensus number one choice to be picked first in this summer's NHL entry draft, Nail Yakupov, returned from a knee injury sustained in the gold medal game of the World Junior’s.