On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced forward Ryan Callahan had a second surgical procedure performed on his right hip by Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York a day earlier.
This latest news is a major setback for Callahan, who has missed the last 17 games because of the injured right hip. On January 15, the team announced Callahan was expected to miss approximately four weeks with a lower-body injury. That would have brought Callahan back to the lineup sometime around February 12.
But that date came and went without any update on the alternate captain.
Now, it's become clear why.
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said Callahan continued to experience discomfort in the right hip during his latest absence from the lineup, necessitating a second procedure.
"We tried a lot of different approaches to quieting it down and nothing seemed to work," Yzerman said when reached by phone Wednesday. "The doctors thought having the second surgical procedure done was a reasonable step to recovery."
Yzerman said surgery was the last option after all others had been exhausted.
"It's a process you go through," he said. "Unless there's a definitely through X-rays and MRIs and whatever tests you go through, you don't generally go in and operate on guys. You go through the conservative approach."
Callahan is considered out indefinitely and whether he will suit up again for the Lightning this season remains up in the air.
"It depends," Yzerman said, "on how long we're playing and how deep into the playoffs we can go."
Callahan has played just 18 games this season, registering two goals and two assists. He started the year on injured reserve after having offseason surgery on the hip and missed the first eight games of the season.
Callahan returned on October 30 to play the New York Rangers, his former team, and was in the lineup for the next 15 games before a second setback forced him to the bench for 15 games. Callahan came back to play three games January 3-7 but has been out since.
Callahan is in his fourth season with the Lightning and has tallied 42 goals and 55 points in 188 career regular season games with the Bolts.