NHL 2012-13 Injury Watch: Who's Hurt, Who's Recovering, Who Will Be Missing Time
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There are several NHL players recovering from injuries as the new season approaches, and if there's a lockout, they may have a bit more time to return to full strength.
Rushing players back to the ice before they are ready is a terrible idea, so you can bet that all the injured stars will take their time rehabbing.
Let's look at the top players that are either hurt, recovering or expected to miss time.
Nathan Horton, Boston Bruins
Bruins forward Nathan Horton is set to make another return from a concussion, according to general manager Peter Chiarelli.
I haven’t talked to our training staff lately, but Nathan Horton has been cleared for contact and by all accounts from our medical staff will be ready to play when it comes time to play.
Horton came back at the start of last season after suffering a concussion against the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final. He was then sidelined in January with another concussion and was unable to return to the lineup.
With Horton back in the lineup, the Bruins offense should be much more dangerous than it was against the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs.
Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers
The Rangers' leading scorer from last year is recovering from shoulder surgery, and according to a CBS Sports update in June, "He will reportedly miss five to six months, meaning he won't be ready for the start of the 2012-13 campaign."
New York will be fine without Gaborik during the early part of the season, so given his history of injury troubles, it's important that he takes his time rehabbing.
Luckily for the Rangers, they acquired star winger Rick Nash via trade this summer, and he will give New York the goal scoring needed while Gaborik is recovering.
Andreas Lilja, Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers' defensive depth suffered another setback earlier this month with the news that veteran defenseman Andreas Lilja will miss time recovering from hip surgery.
Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly reported an update on August 12.
Holmgren disagrees w/Lilja. Tells CSNPhilly.com Lilja should be back by ;late OCT or early November - not DEC— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) August 12, 2012
While Lilja is out, the Flyers will need young defensemen such as Marc-Andre Bourdon to step into the lineup and play well at both ends of the ice.
Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks
Jesse Rogers ESPN Chicago reported an update on Hossa's status in July as he continues to recover from a concussion suffered during the playoffs.
If the Blackhawks want to remain as one of the league's highest scoring teams, they need Hossa healthy next season. His role in the offense is very important.
Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks center returned too quickly from his hip surgery last summer. Kelser's 49 points from last year were his lowest single-season total since 2007-08.
Here is the latest update on his Kesler's status, according to the The Province (via Rotowire):
"Kesler's agent confirmed that the center will be out until at least December, after he underwent shoulder surgery in May, the Vancouver Province reports."
Vancouver will certainly miss Kesler, but his absence will give some of the team's younger players a chance to prove themselves. For the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup next year, they need Kesler fully healthy for the playoffs.
Derek Roy, Dallas Stars
New Dallas Stars forward Derek Roy is not going to be ready for the 2012-13 season if it starts on time. He is recovering from shoulder surgery, reports Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
Stars center Derek Roy, who was acquired in a trade from Buffalo for Steve Ott and Adam Pardy on July 2, had shoulder surgery Wednesday in Dallas and will be out until November, GM Joe Nieuwendyk said.
Fortunately for the Stars, the free agent acquisitions of Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney should give the team plenty of offense while Roy rehabs his shoulder.
Nicholas Goss is an NHL Lead Writer at Bleacher Report. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston. Follow him on Twitter. Chiarelli quote obtained from Bruins media website.
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