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Pens updates: Vitale out three weeks, Martin nears return

Jan 14, 2014, 10:16 PM EDT

paulmartinap AP

The Pittsburgh Penguins saw quite a few injury updates on Tuesday, and as usual, there was both good and bad news. Let’s take a look at what’s up in tidy bullet points.

  • The Penguins placed Joe Vitale (upper body) and Brian Gibbons (lower body) on the injured reserve. Vitale’s assignment is retroactive to Jan. 10 while Gibbons’ goes back to Jan. 11. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Vitale is dealing with a wrist issue and will miss about three weeks.
  • Paul Martin (tibia) and Jayson Megna (knee) will be evaluated by team doctors on Wednesday to see how far along their respective rehabs are. There’s some optimism that Martin may return in the fairly near future, though not Wednesday, according to the Tribune-Review.
  • The team recalled Nick Drazenovic from the AHL with all of these bumps and bruises for their forwards.

Overall, the Eastern Conference’s top team is dealing with some issues, but it sounds like they might get some injured players back (James Neal, perhaps?) in the fairly near future. They only play on Wednesday and then get a break until Monday, Jan. 20, so that could provide nice opportunities for the team to lick its collective wounds.

  1. penguins87and71 - Jan 14, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    On top of all these injuries now Neal is day to day with an upper body injury. It seems like this year that the Penguins take one step forward and two steps back with their injury situation. I don’t even know what forwards are down in the AHL. I wonder who’s going to play on the top line now.

    • c9castine - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:52 PM

      man they had brandon sutter on the right wing at practice. you know the injuries are bad when that happens because byslma is not a fan of taking him out of 3rd line center, even though he does have some nice top 6 skills.

      in fact i don’t think he’s moved out of 3rd line center since he got to pittsburgh.

  2. valoisvipers - Jan 14, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    Not so tidy update O’B. What’s up with Neal?

  3. pitpenguinsrulez - Jan 15, 2014 at 12:46 AM

    Boy I believe this year has been out worst year so far with injuries. Can’t honestly recall it being so bad…however though there has to be a leading reason as to why we’ve been getting all these injuries? Over the years…it’s like ever since Consol has opened up we’ve seen the injury bug bite the team worse every year. Coincidence? Maybe? Possibly? I might be wrong but it’s something to think about.

  4. muckleflugga - Jan 15, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    pitpenguinsrulez

    while injuries in the nhl have risen with changes in rules and technology, increasing speed and force while diminishing time and space to respond to inevitable collisions, real change in lost-time injury is as much attributable to scrutiny coaches, team management and owners are facing as the game of hockey is examined under critical eye…

    before credible scientific research reported in respected medical journals wherein hockey related injuries and management of those injuries by teams are examined, and

    before legal systems expected to use that science to hold those responsible for conduct of the game, nurturing conditions under which injuries continue while compelling players with incomplete injuries, to play injured…

    while exacerbating those injuries, while contributing to long-term debilitating effect

    under present scrutiny, the nhl is increasingly compelled to give proper medical regard and treatment for player injuries when it would appear it did not do so in the past…hence its evolving defence in concussion lawsuits

    it may be argued injuries are likely occurring in the same numbers, but proper treatment and recovery time have increased, fostering the illusion teams are having to deal with injuries in greater proportion than in the past

    it is noted judge anita brody, overseeing the nfl concussion lawsuits, has declined to certify offer at settlement between parties…she feels amount of settlement may be insufficient, given gravity of injuries and affect on lives of those injured, particularly younger plaintiffs in the class…?

    judge brody expressed further concern structuring of the would-be settlement may preclude plaintiffs from seeking redress from those involved in development of their careers before they turned professional…?

    chilling news for the nhl, team owners and team management…chilling news for major junior hockey and the ncaa itself

    look for the parade to sick bay in the nhl to get longer with attentive care increasing in proportion

    it’s all about mitigation

    it’s all about closing the stable door after the horses have already run

    • steelpenbucs87 - Jan 15, 2014 at 9:26 AM

      Apples and Oranges – the vast majority of what gave Brody pause was whether or not the settlement would be able to support the treatment of things like ALS, and Alzheimer’s. Certainly the NHL has an issue with concussions, and I agree that both the league and teams have mandated processes to make sure that players are 100% healed from concussions before returning, I don’t think that means you can draw the same parallel to all injuries that Pitpenguinz is alluding to. The Pens’ injuries (as well as most of the NHL) tend to be around extremities and torso rather than the head – hands, wrists, shoulders, knees, ankles, feet, etc.

      So while I agree that the NHL is likely (and rightly) putting more emphasis on players making a full recovery from concussions, no one is stopping Paul Martin from going out there and playing if he can play without discomfort and reinjury risk.

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