Confirmed: Zuccarello out 3-4 weeks; Dorsett aims for Hawks
It’s official: Mats Zuccarello will be MIA for at least six games, according to the latest diagnosis.
The Rangers leading scorer and an important part of the power play, will be sidelined for three to four weeks and miss six games or more after breaking his left hand blocking a shot against Austria on Feb. 16.
Thursday’s evaluation from Rangers hand specialist Dr. Martin Posner basically confirmed the projection from an MRI taken the day after Norway’s 3-1 loss in the Winter Olympics, a team spokesman said.
“ I knew it was trouble right away,” said a disappointed Zuccarello after the Rangers practiced for the second consecutive day. “They didn’t have an x-ray at the rink, so I kind of shrugged it off and played the rest of the game, but the next day was bad. I kind of understood that there was something wrong.”
Zuccarello, who has 43 points in 58 games and 15 on the power play, said the injury was “not the thing you wanted to happen over there. It’s tough, but a part of the game…I think everyone wants to play for their country. It’s a fun tournament, but it’s not that fun when stuff like this happens.”
The 26-year-old forward, who wore a brace covering the outside of his hand where the fracture occurred, said a bright spot was that the Rangers don’t resume play until Feb. 27 against Chicago, giving him time for treatment and conditioning. “Especially at this time of the season, you want to play every game,” he said. “I just have to work hard and try and be in shape and get ready. “
Zuccarello, a restricted free agent this summer, said he hopes to return sooner than later. “After a week, they’ll take some pictures and have a more specific timetable. After a couple weeks, I’ll probably go on the ice.”
The other injured Ranger, Derek Dorsett, who broke his left leg blocking a shot on Jan. 3 and missed 17 games, skated in a non-contact jersey for a second day, saw some progress, and is aiming for a return on the 27th.
“My lungs feel fine,” he said. “I’ve been doing a lot of biking for 3 1/2 or four weeks. It’s just a matter of getting my leg going. My first two or three steps coming out of the gate, there’s still a little soreness, but that’s to be expected. I was in a splint or a boot for nearly four weeks. That’s my goal (playing against the Blackhawks); I’ve got to see how it progresses during the week, with contact and pushing it, and see if there’s any pain with that. I was a little sore (Thursday) night, but this morning I was fine, I’m just hoping I feel better day by day. We’ll see when I can get into a normal color jersey and crash and bang in the corners, maybe another day or so. I miss being out there."
Marc Staal had back spasms from yesterday, did not skate....With five D, and missing Olympians, lines were jumbled. Justin Falk skated as a forward in some drills...Dan Carcillo was on a line with Derick Brassard and Benoit Pouliot...Rangers will have some on-ice testing tomorrow and are off Sunday. Three straight days of practices next week....