Lightning’s Palat won’t return before Christmas break

Ondrej Palat hasn’t been fortunate in the first few months of the 2015-16 season.

Palat missed 12 games after suffering a lower-body injury in a game against Minnesota on Nov. 7. He returned to the lineup on Dec. 10 just to suffer the same injury on Dec. 12 against Washington.

“Exactly same spot, same leg,” said Palat, per the Tampa Bay Times. “So unlucky. I’ve never seen that happen in my three years (in the NHL). If it (happened on) some tweak into the boards, I’d say I wasn’t 100 percent ready (to return). But if the (first injury) would have never happened, it still would have been injured.”

After Friday’s media availability, Jon Cooper said Palat won’t be back until after the Christmas break.

As for some of the other injured Bolts, they could return fairly soon.

Although there’s no specific timeline for Tyler Johnson‘s return, the Bolts center is expected to be back before Palat.

The Lightning are expecting an update on Cedric Paquette in the next few days. He’s been out since Nov. 16 because of an upper-body injury.

Erik Condra is expected to be back in Tampa’s lineup on Sunday when they take on his former team, the Ottawa Senators.

The Bolts are on the outside looking in when it comes to the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but they’re just three points back of Florida for the final Wild Card spot.


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