Injury updates are harder to come by this week as many teams are staying off the ice as part of their bye week. While I did my best to compile the most recent news for fantasy-relevant players that are currently injured, teams will be releasing more updates in the coming days as they return to action. If you want to see updates on guys like Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Tyler Bertuzzi and Reilly Smith (among others), I recommend you follow me on Twitter @BrennanDeSouza.
Ondrej Kase – Suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder a couple of weeks ago against the Wild and will be out for five-to-six months as a result. As our very own Michael Clifford points out here, Kase has been one of the league’s most productive goal scorers over the past couple of seasons and his absence will make it even more difficult for the Ducks to score goals.
Ryan Kesler – In the summer of 2017, Ryan Kesler underwent an extensive procedure to remove bone fragments from his hip. The recovery process was a tough one as he essentially had to learn how to skate again while regaining strength in his legs. Unfortunately, that same hip continues to bother him and will keep him out of the lineup for the foreseeable future – there is no timetable for his return.
Corey Perry – If he’s able to fully participate in Thursday’s practice, there’s a really good chance he plays during Anaheim’s road trip which begins on Saturday against the Jets (February 2nd) and concludes next Saturday against the Flyers (February 9th). Hopefully, your expectations aren’t too high for Perry when he returns, considering he hasn’t played a game this season and was scoring at a mere 56-point pace last year.
Ryan Miller – If he’s feeling well enough to practice on Thursday, he should accompany the Ducks on their upcoming road trip. Anaheim has a back-to-back scheduled on February 4th and 5th, so Miller might be available to start in one of those two games.
Tuukka Rask – He was on the ice prior to Monday’s morning skate, working with the Bruins goaltending coach. If he’s able to practice with the team on Wednesday, there’s a real possibility that Boston’s ‘starting’ goalie will be available to face the Flyers on Thursday. If he isn’t able to practice on Wednesday, then a return on Sundays against the Capitals seems very likely.
Micheal Ferland – Tweaked something in his back prior to the All-Star break. We haven’t been given any more recent updates, but considering Carolina’s next game is on Friday, Ferland should have had plenty of time to rest before then – expect him in the lineup against the Golden Knights.
Erik Johnson – Has been skating. With Colorado’s next game on Saturday against Vancouver, Johnson will have had plenty of time to rest – so expect him to be in the lineup when the Avalanche take on the Canucks.
Kyle Turris – Isn’t expected to be in the lineup for the next couple of games, which rules out Friday’s tilt with the Panthers and Saturday’s matchup against the Stars. After those two games, Turris should be getting more involved in practice and we can start discussing a return.
Sami Vatanen – Suffered facial lacerations after this hit from Derick Brassard, which kept him out of Tuesday’s practice. He’s currently having some tests done to determine exactly how long he’ll be out. Obviously, it’s concerning to see the head contact he took on this play, but the most we can do is hope for a speedy recovery.
Taylor Hall – In mid-December, Hall suffered a lower-body injury in practice that caused him to sit for two games – after which he returned to the lineup. Shortly after his return, he re-aggravated the injury and has been on the shelf ever since. He has recently resumed skating, but is following a specific program that doesn’t require him to be on the ice every day – so he still isn’t in the final stages of his recovery. The good news is the Devils haven’t considered shutting Hall down for the rest of the season, but the bad news is that we still have no idea when he’ll be back.
Shayne Gostisbehere – A lower-body injury kept him out of back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday, but shouldn’t hold him out of Thursday’s tilt with the Bruins. According to coach Scott Gordon, it’s nothing more than a bruise. So, even if he isn’t back on Thursday, don’t expect him to be out for too much longer. Ghost is on pace for just 34 points this year, which would be the lowest total through his four seasons in the NHL.
Zach Aston-Reese – Has been skating and making progress, but isn’t quite ready to return to practice. At this point, his status is still week-to-week, but the hope is for him to start practicing in the near future. The 24-year-old forward had four points in six games prior to the injury.
Justin Schultz – Is getting close to a return, but still needs a little more time before fully participating in practice with his teammates. He’s missed all but four games this season with a fractured ankle, so he understandably needs time to reach the level of strength and conditioning required of an NHL athlete. Consider him week-to-week for now.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Could have played in San Jose’s final game (January 22nd) before the All-Star break if he absolutely needed to, but the team decided to play it safe and give him an extended period of rest. I’d almost guarantee he returns to the lineup on Saturday when the Sharks host the Coyotes,
David Perron – The Blues resume skating on Friday, so that’s when we’ll know Perron’s status for Saturday’s game against the Blue Jackets. The injury was never made out to be too serious, so don’t expect him to be out much longer.
Jake Gardiner – Leafs’ GM Kyle Dubas made it clear that his acquisition of Jake Muzzin had nothing to do with Gardiner’s back spasms. Toronto’s next game is on Friday against the Red Wings, so Gardiner will have had two weeks to rest prior to that contest. He has been skating, so I’d expect a return sooner rather than later.
Nikolaj Ehlers – He should start practicing soon, but I expect to have another update for you next week before he’s actually back in the lineup. Once he’s a full participant in practice we can start seriously talking about a return.
Dustin Byfuglien – Since Buff hasn’t yet practiced, coach Paul Maurice doesn’t expect him to be in the lineup on Thursday against the Blue Jackets. The plan is for Byfuglien to get back on the ice sometime this week, so we can start talking about a return on Saturday (February 2nd) against the Ducks or Tuesday (February 5th) against the Sharks.
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