The Colorado Avalanche must continue without defenseman Erik Johnson, who may be out longer than anticipated.
The Colorado Avalanche are missing their best defenseman, Erik Johnson. The team was never too strong on the back end to begin with, but Johnson is a solid two-way player with good instincts (and only the occasional pizza moment).
On December 3, Johnson blocked a shot from Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin. Erik tried to finish his shift, but it turned out the shot had broken his fibula.
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Here’s the play:
It’s still impressive as all get-out that Johnson skated off of his own volition.
With the diagnosis of a broken fibula, it was said Johnson would be out six to eight weeks, which is standard timing for such an injury in the NHL. The fibula, but the way, is a small bone on the outside of the leg.
It appears that Johnson did not require surgery — according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, that’s the treatment for a fracture that’s out of place, so Erik’s must not have been that bad.
In the normal world, a broken fibula means a patient can’t put his weight on his leg for at least six weeks. In the world of professional hockey, the time is significantly shortened — athletes are already in prime shape, and they get all the cutting edge treatments.
That said, a broken bone only heals so fast. Indeed, Jared Bednar gave an update that wasn’t exactly optimistic — that EJ is still on crutches and wearing a boot. “He’s still not close,” Bednar added.
One reason for hope comes from New York Rangers center Mika Zibenejad. He suffered what looked like a more brutal leg injury — also a broken fibula — on November 20:
A video posted by New York Rangers (@nyrangers) on Dec 28, 2016 at 9:34am PST
Zibanejad’s recovery has been more closely chronicled — the Colorado Avalanche are ever tight-lipped about injured players. As far as I know, there haven’t been any EJ sightings at basketball games like there were of Mika.
We’ve still got 10 days until the five-week mark on Johnson’s injury. Maybe his recovery will follow the same course as Zibenejad’s.
We can only hope so — the Colorado Avalanche are in desperate need of their best blueliner. No one wants to see EJ rush his recovery. However, if the hockey gods would like to smile down on the Avs for a change, maybe we’ll see our Condor on the ice sooner rather than later, even if it’s just to test the leg out.