Lecavalier out indefinitely with lower body injury. Probably knee he tweaked late Saturday game.— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) March 14, 2013
UPDATE: Thursday, April 4 at 2:45 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow
Vincent Lecavalier will make his return for the #TBLightning tonight after missing nine games with a lower body injury.— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 4, 2013
---End of update--
It looks like the Lightning will get one of their stars back after an extended absence, as RDS' Ren Lavoie reports that Vincent Lecavalier is going to return to Tampa Bay's lineup after missing almost 3 weeks with an ankle issue.
UPDATE: Tuesday, April 2 at 12:50 p.m. ET by Tim Daniels
The Lightning provided an update on Lecavalier via Twitter. It stated that although he was able to return to the ice with the team today he isn't ready to suit up against the Florida Panthers tonight.
Injury Update: Lecavalier skated with the team for the first time today but will not play tonight…More: tmblr.co/ZnU4Gyhk6FG2— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 2, 2013
---End of update--
UPDATE: Tuesday, March 19, at 1:40 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp
Vincent Lecavalier spoke out about his injury on Tuesday (via NHL.com):
It [the injury] didn't look like anything, but obviously something did happen. I guess you could say it's kind of a fluky thing. I'm going to train here and make sure that when I'm back playing, I'll be ready to go.
It's more of a waiting game and waiting and rest it. I can still do some other stuff. Skating right now is not a possibility.
Definitely disappointing [to be out], especially to be in the situation we're in right now, fighting for the playoffs.. Nothing but kind of a little bit of a waiting game. Work out hard, be ready to play when I'm ready.
---End of update---
The Lightning’s Official Twitter account confirmed the news, adding that the injury will send Lecavalier to the IR:
Center Vincent Lecavalier is out indefinitely with a lower body injury.Expected to go on the IR today.— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) March 14, 2013
Lecavalier may have played in the team’s Tuesday night victory over the Florida Panthers (h/t Tampa Bay Tribune)—he scored a goal and had an assist—but the team will reportedly be without the captain for at least seven days, according to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Bay Tribune:
Yzerman also said Lecavalier expected to be out longer than 7 days; he did not say who the call up from Syracuse would be— Erik Erlendsson (@erlendssonTBO) March 14, 2013
Sun Sports Lightning insider Brittany Zion is reporting which player the team will bring up as Lecavalier’s replacement on the active roster:
Boucher confirms that Tyler Johnson will be called up from Syracuse.— Brittany Zion (@BrittanyZion) March 14, 2013
Cristodero believes that it is a knee injury that he suffered in the team’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night that was likely re-aggravated in the team’s matchup against Panthers Tuesday.
The knee injury may not be the only ailment keeping Lecavalier out of the lineup, though, as the center has also been suffering through a left foot injury since taking a slap shot off his skate on Feb. 2 (h/t Tampa Bay Times).
The foot injury has clearly limited the star’s play this season—11 points in eight games before the injury and just 11 points in the 18 games since—and the time on the IR is exactly what Lecavalier needs to get healthy and return to his normal form.
Tampa Bay sits in 12th place in the Eastern Conference right now, and without Lecavalier for at least the next week, the playoff hopes for the Lightning are fading fast.