Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It Looks Like Gonchar is Out for 4-6 Months

Answers are more definite today as the Pittsburgh Penguins webpage reports that defensemen Sergei Gonchar has elected to undergo arthroscopic surgery to treat his separated shoulder. This decision came after Gonchar met with a third orthopedic specialist yesterday; however, according to Gonchar last Thursday, there really weren't too many options having told Rob Rossi that his prognosis was "either 'You're doing surgery' or 'You're not doing surgery.'" According to the Penguins, the surgery will repair cartilage and ligament damage his shoulder suffered after taking a hit from David Koci during the first period of the first pre-season game at the Mellon Arena against Tampa Bay on September 20th.

The surgery is scheduled for this Thursday and Gonchar's recovery time will be 4 - 6 months.

“It is always difficult to lose a very talented player and leader for an extended period of time, but we all believe this is the best decision for Sergei,” said Ray Shero, the Penguins’ executive vice president and general manager. “We are confident that he will come back strong after this surgery. In the meantime, we’ll look to our other defensemen to step up in his absence.”
What is happening to our defense? First, Ryan Whitney and now Gonchar - both out for extended periods of time this season and it hasn't even started yet. I guess that's the good news since we may see them play during the last half of the season (Gonchar will be closer towards the end of the season, in March).

I'd be more worried if we didn't have the depth we do on defense - Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski, Brooks Orpik, Hal Gill - just to name a few. We've really been without these guys for all / most of the pre-season and, as far as I'm concerned, they look pretty good and are already used to not having our two top defensemen in the lineup, so I wouldn't count them out just yet! Have faith, Penguins fans!!

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