While his brother Marc’s contract situation is more of a metaphorical pain in a metaphorical body part to the New York Rangers, Jordan Staal’s aches are a little more tangible for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He had a second surgery on his foot in June after going under the knife during the playoffs, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the lanky forward is facing a “few setbacks” in his recovery.
Penguins general manager Ray Shero said today that key forward Jordan Staal has had “a few setbacks” with his right foot and should find out next week following a medical re-evaluation whether he will be ready for the start of training camp next month.
Shero stressed that the tendon on the top of Staal’s foot that was cut April 30 is strong but that there are other issues keeping Staal from being at full force. Staal had surgery that night and again in June.
The Selke Trophy candidate is an important cog in the Penguins’ machine, even if he hasn’t hit the kind of offensive numbers some hoped for when he was the second overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft (ahead of Jonathan Toews and Nicklas Backstrom … oops). If Staal misses some regular season games or is hampered by the injury, it will put even more pressure on Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to carry the offense.
As any self respecting pee wee football coach may ponder, it’s reasonable to play hurt, but Staal played injured. It’s a common act by many hockey players, but it seems like he’s paying the price that comes with not allowing his surgically repaired foot to heal.
We’ll keep you up to date when we hear more about the injury rehab situations for Staal and many other players as the summer days rapidly give way to the return of hockey in the fall.