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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lightning's Ryan Malone joins crowded IR list

By on 12/04/2013 09:13:00 PM

The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Malone has suffered a non-displaced fracture to his ankle and will be on the shelf for three to four weeks.

Malone took a  puck to the ankle blocking a shot against the Anaheim Ducks two weeks ago, coach Jon Cooper and General Manager Steve Yzerman breaking out their cloak and dagger routine in regard to Malone's injury - that is until Tuesday, when Yzerman went public with the diagnosis.

The 34 year old veteran left wing has recorded three goals and six helpers in 23 games played and has a plus-one rating on the season.

The time frame that Yzerman is anticipating for Malone - and also the capricious nature of the injury - is consistent with the diagnosis.  Originally thought to be a sprain, then perhaps a chipped bone in the ankle before further tests detected a fracture.

The Malone injury is just the latest in harsh blows to a Tampa Bay roster expected to contend for a title. Of course the cruelest injury was to leading scorer Steven Stamkos, who broke his tibia three weeks ago in Boston, but center Tom Pyatt and defenseman Brian Lee have essentially been out all season while left wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie has played in just 12 games.

The good news is that Labrie is skating and should be able to return from his elbow injury this weekend, while tough guy Radko Gudas has the same time table expectation.  Pyatt has been skating as well, but he's still looking at another two to four weeks for a slow-healing broken collarbone.

Stamkos is on the fast track to return and has targeted a February 6th return date.


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