Ryan McDonagh Injury: Updates on Rangers Defenseman's Neck and Return

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured Columnist

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) clears the puck from behind the net against the Florida Panthers during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Sunrise, Fla. The Rangers defeated the Panthers 5-4 in overtime. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
Joel Auerbach/Associated Press

The New York Rangers are currently without their top defenseman, as Ryan McDonagh is dealing with a neck injury, and his return to the lineup is uncertain.

Continue for updates.

McDonagh Out vs. Devils

Monday, Feb. 22

Andrew Gross of the Record noted McDonagh will not play Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils.

McDonagh Comments on Injury

Monday, Feb. 22

McDonagh told reporters he's "thankful" to have not suffered a second concussion, adding his jaw is still sore and he's eating softer foods. He also said he will travel with the team for its trip to take on the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars.

Latest on McDonagh's Recovery

Monday, Feb. 22

Gross noted McDonagh skated for the first time since his injury on Monday, adding he will skate tomorrow before the Rangers' road trip.

Injuries Starting to Pile Up for McDonagh

The 26-year-old blueliner suffered the injury Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs when he caught a high elbow from forward Leo Komarov:

According to ESPN.com, Komarov was suspended three games for the illegal hit.

The Rangers captain had just returned from a concussion when Komarov put him out of commission, and Sean Hartnett of WFAN 660 believed that made the Estonian's hit even worse:

Sean Hartnett @HartnettHockey

Can't say I have any respect left for Leo Komarov. He's fully aware of McDonagh's recent concussion. He knows what he's doing. Disgusting.

While McDonagh is back on the shelf, the good news for Rangers fans is that he avoided another concussion, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

McDonagh leads all Rangers defensemen with seven goals, and he has also contributed 19 assists along with a plus-13 rating.

New York is currently second in the Eastern Conference's Metropolitan Division, and McDonagh's steady play is a big reason for that.

The Saint Paul, Minnesota, native is as solid as they come at both ends of the rink, and with 81 games of playoff experience to his credit, he is especially important on the big stage.

New York will likely be forced to turn to Dylan McIlrath as a fill-in until McDonagh returns, which will represent a significant drop-off.

While the Rangers are comfortably above the playoff line and have plenty of time to get McDonagh back, they will be a far less complete team for as long as the former United States Olympian is out of action.

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