The injury bug has bitten the Blueshirts early and often in 2018-19, but things are starting to look up a bit.
At Rangers practice. Zuccarello, Namestnikov, Buchnevich and McQuaid are all on ice. Namestnikov and McQuaid in red no contact jerseys.— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) December 4, 2018
Pavel Buchnevich’s last game was just 24 days ago vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets, and he was scheduled to miss four-to-six weeks due to a broken thumb. Using that time table, the four week mark is this Saturday December 8, and the six week mark is December 22.
It is entirely possible that the injury is more mild than initially expected, or this is just an opportunity for him to get on the ice and see what he’s capable of. In any event, it is better for the Rangers to be cautious, because they need him at the level he was playing just before the injury.
Mats Zuccarello has had a nagging groin injury which has limited him to 17 of 28 games this season, and just five appearances in November. His last game played was November 23, and prior to that he played on November 15. Zuccarello has had a number of stops and starts with the injury, and this time around it appears the team is giving him the time he needs. This week gives him a chance to get back up to speed, and ample time to see if he’s ready to get back into a game.
Namestnikov skating with a non contact jersey isn’t a great sign, but it would be worse if he weren’t allowed to skate at all. He took a major hit from Thomas Chabot during a victory at MSG over the Ottawa Senators, and he entered the concussion protocol shortly after that.
Adam McQuaid is also wearing a no contact jersey, and he hasn’t played since October 25, a game he skated just 6:18 in. There’s no rush for him to get healthy, as the Blueshirts have too many defenders as it is.
There’s a good chance that David Quinn will provide an update or two after practice is over, so stay tuned for more details as they become available.
UPDATE: 2:07 P.M.
Buchnevich said he’s hopeful he can play Saturday. DQ said all the guys are possible, but conceded McQuaid is probably a longer shot than the others.— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) December 4, 2018