Last night, NHL insider Bob McKenzie appeared on NHL Tonight on NHL Network with Kathryn Tappen and provided an update on the condition of New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, who has been out with an eye/facial injury since taking a slapshot to the face against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 5th.
In short, Staal remains out indefinitely and there is no timetable for his return, despite other media reports.
McKenzie said that Staal has been seeing a top ophthalmologist and that while he is expected to make a full recovery, there is no timetable for his return. Kevin Paul DuPont of the Boston Globe reported a few days ago that Staal should return within a couple weeks, providing there are no “hiccups” in his recovery.
Provided no hiccups, NYR figuing Staal to miss another 2-3 weeks.
— Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) March 11, 2013
While McKenzie did indirectly refer to this report, he provided more detail by saying that quite simply no one knows for sure exactly how long Staal will remain out, but said that the Rangers are fully prepared to be without Staal for months. “They simply don’t know when Staal will be healthy enough to return,” McKenzie said.
McKenzie felt it would be highly unlikely that Staal returns in a matter of 2-3 weeks. He also said that due to the damage around the bone supporting the eye, it’s possible Staal returns at least initially wearing a full cage mask to protect himself. But asking a player to simply a wear a visor comes with enough difficulty, so it’s hard to say if Staal will actually do that. There’s also been no word if Staal intends to return wearing a visor, either.
With Staal out indefinitely, Rangers fans can only hope he is healthy enough to return to the lineup when the team will need him the most: the postseason.