Malkin Tears ACL and MCL, Likely Done for Season
Right when many people thought news on the injury front could not possibly get any worse for the Pittsburgh Penguins, it has.
Head Coach Dan Bylsma announced this morning that Evgeni Malkin suffered a torn MCL and ACL in his right knee during last night’s 3-2 comeback victory over the visiting Buffalo Sabres at the CONSOL Energy Center. While chasing down a loose puck during the second period, Malkin came together with Sabres’ defensive stalwart Tyler Myers and fell awkwardly along the end boards, only to have Myers land on top of his right knee as he dropped to the ice with him. Myers got to his feet after the collision, but Malkin remained down on the ice after the play was whistled dead before leaving the game and not returning, leading some to speculate that a serious injury had indeed occurred, before Bylsma ultimately confirmed those fears today.
"This is a difficult injury for him, it was kind of a fluke situation going into the boards with a guy." said Bylsma, noticeably disappointed by the news. "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.” he added.
Bylsma also noted that “Geno” and the team’s doctors are currently in the process of deciding whether rehabilitation or surgery would better serve his recovery. J.P. Barry, Malkin’s agent, was quoted as saying he would also be visiting another specialist at some point this week for a second opinion. If surgery is indeed required as expected, Malkin will in all likelihood sit out for the remainder of the season.
Malkin’s appearance last night was his first in 5 games after battling through an undisclosed ailment with his other knee, along with a sinus infection. In 43 total games this season, he recorded 15 goals and 37 points.
With Captain Sidney Crosby still sidelined due to post-concussion syndrome, and rookie pivot Mark Letestu gone 4-to-6 weeks with a knee injury of his own, the Pens are now left with Jordan Staal and AHL call-up Dustin Jeffrey as the club’s top two centermen. On paper, that thought will most certainly worry most fans, but Jeffrey has done all that has been asked of him, filling in admirably since joining the lineup, whilst Staal has clearly found his stride as of late after his infamous injury absence. With this in mind, along with the ill-fated early concussion returns by Marc Savard and Ian Laperriere respectively, it is almost a certainty that Crosby will not be rushed back into game action at risk of further damage to his health.
General Manager Ray Shero also announced today that the team has recalled forward Tim Wallace from the squad’s AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The 26-year-old Notre Dame alum has suited up for 17 NHL contests with Pittsburgh over the course of his professional career, notching two assists.