On Saturday, it was reported that Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Price would undergo scans on Monday to evaluate his new injury. Sportsnet stated that early predictions of a four week lay off were erroneous.
The team stated on Twitter that the scans have revealed that Price, who is arguably the best goalkeeper in the NHL, will have to miss at least six weeks with a lower body injury.
This comes on three games after he had recovered from his prior lower body injury on October 29. NHL.com have reported general manager Marc Bergevin as stating that he was not rushed back from injury too early:
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"When it did happen I was wondering if he came back too quick. But based on our doctors, based on Carey, based on everything we have … it was not the reason that he got injured, that he came back too quick.
“But I understand the question; you always wonder if that was the case. We looked into it deeply after and that was not the case."
USA Today speculate that the undisclosed lower body injury is most likely to be to his medial collateral ligament (MCL) in the net minder’s right knee.
MCL injuries are common amongst ice hockey goalies as when they adopt the butterfly position; it puts stress upon the ligament, which runs on the inside of the knee.
Mike Condon will continue to stand in as the current Hart Memorial Trophy winner nurses his injury.
Price’s backup of last season, Dustin Tokarski, has been sent down to Montreal’s AHL affiliate the St. John’s Ice Caps. Top prospect Zach Fucale has been promoted to the NHL side.
Carey Price is set to miss at least 15 games in total including an eight-game road trip which the Habs will embark upon on December 19, not to return to the great white north until January 14.
The prognosis sets Carey Price’s earliest return to be against the Philadelphia Flyers, in the last game of the road trip on January 5; but even if his recovery does go well he's more likely to return to the ice against the Chicago Blackhawks on January 14.
The Montreal all-star is considered by many to be the best net minder in the league, but his replacement Condon hasn’t been too bad so far, with a record of 8-2-3 after 14 games.