Kessel hand injury ‘was something he dealt with all season,’ says Rutherford

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On Friday, it was reported that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel underwent hand surgery for an injury sustained in the first round of the playoffs.

Kessel, despite the injury, still had a strong post-season. He scored 10 goals and 22 points in 24 games. Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup.

But apparently, the injury Kessel had been dealing with was something that had actually been bothering him well before the playoffs even began.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“It was something he dealt with all season,” general manager Jim Rutherford said. “It bothered him. He took care of it. He’s not expect to miss any time.”

Rutherford suggested Kessel initially suffered the injury during the 2015 preseason. The specific hand or the nature of of the injury were not identified.

In his first campaign with the Penguins, Kessel appeared in all 82 regular season games, with 26 goals and 59 points, and appeared in all 24 post-season games.