New Jersey defenseman Anton Volchenkov has broken a bone in his foot while playing for KHL club Torpedo Nizhny, according to Tom Gulitti of NorthJersey.com.
Volchenkov’s agent, Jay Grossman, said his client broke “a small bone” near the arch of his foot and would be treated by Torpedo’s doctor and medical staff, rather than return to North America for treatment.
Grossman’s statement is slightly less ominous than original reports, which claimed Volchenkov suffered a fractured ankle and would miss 4-6 weeks. Grossman said it’s “not expected [Volchenkov] would miss that much time,” and that the return date is contingent upon the healing process.
Volchenkov only recently signed with Torpedo and appeared in just three games before getting hurt. Prior to that, he was skating with a number of Devils players in New Jersey.
His injury could become a very interesting saga, though largely dependent on severity and recovery time. Lockout rules state that if a player is injured while playing in another league during the lockout, an NHL club can suspend him without pay until he is fit to play.
There’s a chance Volchenkov’s foot will heal prior to the start of the NHL campaign, but there’s also a chance he’ll still be hurt when the season gets underway.
In the event of the latter, it’s possible the Devils — a financially troubled franchise — could exercise their “suspend without pay” right.
Volchenkov has a pretty hefty contract (six years, $25.5 million) and struggled mightily last year, averaging less than 18 minutes a game…a number that dropped to 16 during New Jersey’s Stanley Cup run.