SUNRISE, Fla. —
The Florida Panthers
’ run of bad luck continues.
For the third consecutive week, a Panthers player will undergo surgery — this time it’s forward Scottie Upshall
Upshall will undergo sports hernia surgery Thursday, and coach Kevin Dineen
said after Wednesday’s morning skate that Upshall would be out a minimum of one month.
The first of the Panthers’ many free agent signings last July, Upshall initially was injured in a November game at Winnipeg.
He then missed the next 30 games before making his return Jan. 20 at Chicago. Upshall sat out the next night at Winnipeg, but was back in the lineup Jan. 24 against Philadelphia in the Panthers’ last game
before the All-Star break. He played 11:28 that night.
“He’s a big part of our team and we haven’t seen a lot of Scottie Upshall
this year,” Dineen said. “I don’t want him coming back and limping through this season. I think that it’s important that if we get Scottie in the lineup, we have to get the real deal instead of what we’ve seen for the majority of this year, which is just not good enough to help us get where we are.”
Dineen, who revealed he had sports hernia surgery himself during his NHL playing career, said he didn’t second-guess the decision not to have Usphall have the surgery earlier.
“It was handled the exact way it should have been,” Dineen said. “What you try to do is you try to rehab these injuries, you want to make sure that you get a program together that tries to strengthen all the areas surrounding it as well as your whole body.
“At the end of it, if he’s still feeling that pain on a daily basis, we’re not getting the player that we need. So he’ll have this surgery tomorrow and we’ll move from there.”
Upshall, coming off a career-high 22 goals last season, has only one goal and two assists in 17 games this season.
His surgery will follow those of defensemen Ed Jovanovski
(hand) on Jan. 18 and Dmitry Kulikov
(knee) on Jan. 23.