The Lundqvist Timetable Mystery

Jared Silber/Getty Images

Jared Silber/Getty Images

POST UPDATED: 3/16/15 9AM

When is Henrik Lundqvist coming back? The King has been out since February 4th and has missed 18 games and counting. 

The injury occurred during the second period against Carolina on January 31st. It was literally the perfect storm as Ryan McDonagh’s stick came up and lifted the helmet of Lundqvist, briefly exposing his neck. Brad Malone’s wobbly rising shot literally caught Lundqvist in the throat for that split second it was unprotected.

Lundqvist injured (Getty)

Lundqvist injured (Getty)

Shockingly, Lundqvist stayed in the game and won it. Even more surprising knowing what we know now, Lundqvist played the next game against Florida on February 2nd. The King won that contest 6-3 and was set to start the next game against Boston. That’s when we found out he was day to day as Cam Talbot got the nod.

HUGE SALE ON ALL SIGNED PHOTOS GOING ON NOW!

Initially, we were told nothing except that it wasn’t a concussion. Henrik was experiencing headaches and was being looked at by doctors. The mystery was mounting. Then we were hit with the bomb from Lundqvist himself that he had suffered a sprained blood vessel. We would later learn on Live with Kelly and Michael that the injury was not from the impact of the puck, but the violent whipping of his head back.

Lundqvist points to his injury

Lundqvist points to his injury

During his press conference, Lundqvist revealed a possible timeframe to return. When asked about being out, Henrik said “It was very disappointing when I sat down and the doctors said we’ll have another look at it in 3, 4 weeks. I was shocked by that, but at the same time, you don’t play around with this.”

Considering that had it not been found with extensive testing, this injury could have resulted in a stroke. Basically, this was a serious an injury as you could suffer in any sport. The only treatment is aspirin to  thin the blood and rest. Rehab so far has consisted of light cardio and making sure he doesn’t suffer another injury to the area.

To date, we are still waiting to hear any word on his possible return. The time frame of 3 – 4 weeks for a re-evaluation passed last week and yet and we’ve got nothing. Lundqvist’s light workouts have progressed to taking low shots with goalie coach Benoit Allaire, but he hasn’t practiced with his team.

Andrew Gross is now reporting:

[su_quote cite=”Andrew Gross” url=”https://www.northjersey.com/sports/hockey/rangers-notes-marty-st-louis-injured-1.1289784″]The Rangers did not have an update on Henrik Lundqvist’s potential return to the lineup, but Vigneault said he did get a promising report from Ramsay. “He’s obviously going to need some team practice time,” Vigneault said. “Exactly how long, I don’t know. He has been pushing real hard on the ice as far as conditioning-wise. My understanding is he’s looked real good.”[/su_quote]

On March 4th, TSN’s Bob McKenzie speculated that Lundqvist was looking better and may return in 10-14 days.  If you follow that, then Lundqvist could literally be returning next week.

henrik-lundqvistNow, let me add my own speculation (if Bob McKenzie can do it, so can I). The Rangers have now lost Kevin Klein due to injury for the next 3 to 4 weeks. They put Henrik Lundqvist on LTIR a while back and have cap relief for a call up and yet refused to bring up a 7th defenseman from Hartford. Is it possible they are optimistic that Henrik will return some time next week, or the week after that they haven’t used the space?

If Lundqvist could return late next week or the following week, say March 24th at home against the L.A. Kings, he would have 11 games to tune up for the playoffs. That should give Lundqvist enough time to shake off the rust and be ready for what the Rangers hope is a long playoff run.

 

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore