Evgeni Malkin's latest injury - suffered Friday night against the Sabres after a collision with Tyler Myers - appears to be serious, the Post-Gazette reports. He has torn his ACL and his MCL.
Coach Dan Bylsma said Malkin and doctors are still looking at options for treatment, but surgery is at least a good possibility. Surgery could require months of recovery time.
I'm not a doctor, but it would seem strange to me if Malkin opted not to have the surgery. Hockey places pretty serious demands on a player's knees, especially when making sudden turns while skating, so it would be really hard to keep playing with a torn ACL.
This is another tough blow for the Penguins, who haven't really been at full strength in weeks. There's no indication yet as to when Sidney Crosby is coming back from his concussion, and now the Penguins have lost possibly their second-best player for an extended period of time. They've been winning without both of them recently, which is great, but who knows if they can maintain their winning ways against playoff competition.
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Here is Jimmy Rixner's take on it (he posted this here a few minutes after I posted this storystream):
Coach Dan Bylsma after practice today:
"Evgeni Malkin had an MRI this morning. The results show that he has a torn MCL and a torn ACL. At this point in time we are discussing options with the doctors on what to do next.
"This is a difficult injury for him. It was kind of a fluke situation going into the boards with a guy. That’s a tough injury for Geno. We have dealt with games without him. We’ve managed to find our way without him. That’s what we’re going to have to look at now.
"We’re discussing options with our doctor. Surgery is a possibility. I’m not sure if there is a rehab possibility. But right now I just got the news on the MRI."
Malkin has been battling a nagging injury in his left knee almost all season long. The injury occurred last night when he and Buffalo’s Tyler Myers went together awkwardly into the end boards and Myers fell on Malkin’s leg.
The only silver lining from this injury could be its timing. If Malkin misses the rest of the regular season, the Pens could wipe his contract from the salary cap via long-term injury reserve and be able to replace him via trade, should general manager Ray Shero feel the need to consider that option.
For now, though, the attention turns to Malkin’s recovery and treatment options, which are still unknown.