Tavares was hurt after he sidestepped the net late in the third period of Friday night's 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Durability has rarely been an issue for the 26-year-old, who appeared in 78 or more games in five of his first seven seasons and also didn't miss a game in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign.
The Islanders have made the playoffs in each of the last two years, exiting in the first round in 2014-15 and bowing out in the second round in 2015-16. Those postseason appearances shouldn't be taken for granted, as the team had just one playoff trip in the preceding seven years.
A return to the postseason may not be in the cards for the Islanders in 2016-17, as they sit four points behind the Boston Bruins for an Eastern Conference wild-card berth with just five games to play.
In order for New York to claim a top-eight place, it will likely need Tavares to make a quick return to the ice—and some help from Boston.