Hockey World Blog

Fantasy Friday: The Injury Bug

The injury bug has hit the NHL hard so far, which was expected with players coming back from the lockout for a shortened, condensed season. And the impact is being felt by fantasy hockey owners as well as players up and down rosters are being designated DTD and IR on a regular basis. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the injuries around the league and status updates for potential returns.

Ryan Kesler: We highlighted Kesler’s most recent injury earlier this week. After playing in only seven games for the Canucks this season, Kesler has gone down again – this time with a broken foot. He’s expected to miss four to six weeks, which puts most fantasy teams well into their playoffs. It’s a gamble to71-evgeni-malkin keep Kesler if you’ve got him because he could be an asset in the playoffs when he does return.

Ray Whitney: Whitney suffered a broken foot in early February, placing him on the IR for four to six weeks. He’s been skating and could be as little as a week away from returning. Whitney has six points in eight games this season for Dallas. Owned in only 41 percent of Yahoo leagues, he will provide an offensive boost when he returns.

Evgeni Malkin: It was like déjà vu when it was announced that Malkin had suffered a concussion earlier this week. He’s been skating and coach Dan Bylsma reports that Malkin is symptom-free, although there is no timetable for a return. After what the team endured with Crosby, and with the league placing a heavy emphasis on concussions, expect the team to take every precaution before Malkin gets back on the ice. Still, no need to panic. He’ll be back soon enough.

Kevin Bieksa: Tough break for the Canucks as Bieksa is a vital part of their blue line. Bieksa missed back-to-back games this week with a sore groin, but the injury doesn’t sound serious. He could be back as soon as this weekend, either tomorrow against Los Angeles or Sunday against Calgary.

Martin Brodeur: Tough break for the Devils, who have been one of the most surprising teams so far this season. Unfortunately, the team has dropped three straight since Brodeur, who has a 2.27 goals against average and a .911 save percentage, went down with a sore back. The Devils hope that he will be back sometime next week.

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