November 30, 2021, 20:09

    Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov set to miss 8-10 weeks after procedure

    Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov set to miss 8-10 weeks after procedure

    Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov underwent a procedure Tuesday for an unspecified lower-body injury and will be out for approximately eight to 10 weeks, the team announced Wednesday.

    Kucherov suffered the injury Oct. 16 against the Washington Capitals, doubling over in pain after an innocent-looking collision, and has not played since.

    The time frame for his recovery would mean Kucherov could be back playing for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions just before or after New Year’s.

    The 28-year-old, who is on long-term injured reserve, has one goal and three assists in three games this season. He was Tampa Bay’s leading scorer on each of the past two Stanley Cup runs. He missed the entire regular season last year recovering from hip surgery and returned for the first game of the playoffs.

    Kucherov won the Hart Trophy as MVP in 2018-19 when he led the NHL with 87 assists and 128 points.

    Tampa Bay has been inconsistent early this season, before and after Kucherov’s injury. The Lightning did not have a regulation win until they beat the Penguins on Tuesday night.

    Kucherov has 678 points in 361 NHL regular-season and playoff games during his career. One thing missing from his résumé is playing at the Olympics, and Kucherov was named one of the Russians’ first three roster picks for the upcoming 2022 Games in Beijing.

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