GREENBURGH, N.Y. – The Rangers got the news on Kevin Shattenkirk on Wednesday: The defenseman will miss two to four weeks with a separated left shoulder.
Shattenkirk was injured on Monday a hit into the boards by former Ranger J.T. Miller (now of the Lightning).
“The good news is we feel like it’s a position where you do have depth,” coach David Quinn said after practice. “We’ve talked about the fact that we have eight defensemen we can play and we feel comfortable with. It’s a blow to us. He’s been playing well.”
There’s never a good time for an injury, but at least the Rangers got defenseman Adam McQuaid back on the ice on Wednesday for his first full practice since he was knocked out by a lower body injury in late October.
“The timing – it’s perfect,” Quinn said.
Quinn said McQuaid could make his first appearance since Oct. 25 on Friday when the Rangers host Arizona at the Garden. But it’s also possible McQuaid will need more time, in which case Brendan Smith could return from a two-game benching or the team could dip into its prospect stash for Libor Hajek or Ryan Lindgren, a pair of 20-year-old rookies at Hartford (AHL).
Of one of his other injured-and-hoping-to-return-on-Friday players, Quinn said: “With these types of situations you never know. So day-to-day. As we all are in life.”
Quinn was speaking of Mats Zuccarello when he got philosophical. Zuccarello has been out since Nov. 23 with a groin injury. The Rangers have missed him, as they also have Pavel Buchnevich (broken thumb) and Cody McLeod (fractured hand). Buchnevich practiced Wednesday and may return on Friday.
“You talk about three guys who are a big part of what we have going on,” Quinn said. “Three NHLers, they all give a different element to our lineup. We’ve missed all of them, for sure, but every team has injuries. You’ve got to overcome them and you’ve got to deal with them. That’s just the reality of the National Hockey League.”
McQuaid’s reality has been waiting and rehabbing and progressing slowly. It’s not what the 32-year-old had in mind when he joined the Rangers in a trade with Boston in September.
“It’s a test of patience, for sure,” McQuaid said. “Certainly not easy sitting and watching. But you try and control everything that you can and kind of stay focused on the process of healing and rehabbing and being back as quick as possible, while at the same time trying to stay in the loop and help with the group as much as you can when you’re not playing. It is what it is and I’m feeling a lot better, so just hoping I can continue to progress.”