John Tavares Injury: Updates on Islanders Star's Knee and Return

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2014

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Updates from Thursday, May 15

John Tavares updated his condition after suffering a knee injury back in February (via Mike Halford of Pro Hockey Talk):

“Everything’s pretty much back to normal,” Tavares said, per Buffalo’s WGR550 radio. “I was cleared last week to resume full activity, so I skated with the London Knights [of the Ontario Hockey League] as they’re preparing for the Memorial Cup for three days and three practices, and I feel really good.”

“I’m just happy I’m able to put this behind me, move forward, and look toward next season.”

Updates from Friday, Mar. 14

Tavares talked about his injury yesterday, according to

It’s been going fantastic, I’ve made a lot of progress and things are going really well. I’m back in New York now with the guys, back from our long road trip. I’m very happy with the way it’s going. At first you can be a little worried about how serious it can be. Fortunately for me the news kept getting better and better. I’ve been through this type of knee injury before so I know how I’ve responded from it and am doing everything I can to get back to 100%.

Updates from Tuesday, Feb. 25

Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post provides Tavares' take on his injury and the Olympics:

Stephen Lorenzo of The New York Daily News has the latest on Tavares:

Arthur Stape of Newsday has the latest timeline on the star: 

Updates from Monday, Feb. 24

The Islanders have placed John Tavares on injured reserve, a move the team confirmed on its Twitter account:

Updates from Thursday, Feb. 20

Arthur Staple of Newsday reports the results of the MRI conducted on John Tavares' injured knee:

Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press provides a statement from Tavares' replacement against Team USA, Matt Duchene:

Johnny's been playing great for us, and hopefully he has a speedy recovery and it's not too serious. But it's a big opportunity for myself now, chance to play centre, to play where I'm comfortable. There's been a lot of unfamiliars in this tournament, and when you get a short chance at it, sometimes can be tough, so this is going to be much more familiar.

Whyno followed with an Instagram photo of Canada's practice:

NBC Sports' Ryan Dadoun projected Canada's lines for Friday: 

Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby-Patrice Bergeron
Jamie Benn-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Patrick Marleau-Jonathan Toews-Jeff Carter
Patrick Sharp-Matt Duchene-Rick Nash

Islanders general manager Garth Snow spoke about Tavares' injury and the Olympics (via

Original Text

Coming into the 2014 Sochi Games, there was talk that the NHL owners wouldn't allow the league's players to participate in the 2018 Olympics. After all, every four years the league is forced to shut down for two weeks and risks injury to some of its biggest stars.

So the fact that John Tavares, star of the New York Islanders, went down to injury on Wednesday in Canada's game against Latvia probably won't help matters with the NHL owners.    

Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Sun relays information from head coach Mike Babcock:

According to Brett Cyrgalis of The New York Post, Tavares is scheduled to have an MRI Thursday:

TSN's Bob Mackenzie provides more details:

Of course, Tavares isn't the only NHL star to go down with injury in these Games, as Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer notes:

But Islanders fans probably aren't worried about the larger Olympic debate, or even Team Canada's chances. No, for the fans of the team well down in the standings in the Eastern Conference, the prevailing feeling is probably, "Why us? Why do bad things always happen to us?"

Adam Rubin of ESPN chimed in on that thought:

Tavares currently has 24 goals and 42 assists in 59 games for the Islanders this season. His 66 points are third in the NHL, and he's fifth in assists. 

While Canada can survive without Tavares given its depth of talent, the Islanders most certainly can't. If he misses any significant amount of time, the already-thin hopes the Islanders may have held to get back into the playoff race will evaporate.

The team is 22-30-8, eighth place in the Metropolitan Division, and its 52 points are the third lowest in the Eastern Conference.

Should Tavares have to hit the shelf for an extended period, most will not fault Islanders fans if they, like the NHL owners, are a bit wary of sending their star to the 2018 Olympic Games.



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