They have yet to play their first exhibition game and already the Devils are dealing with injury.
With team set to open their preseason schedule at home Wednesday against the Rangers, Devils' President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello announced Wednesday morning that Patrik Elias
has undergone a procedure to break up scar tissue in his groin.
Elias, the all-time leading scorer in franchise history, is expected to miss three to six weeks, making it unlikely that he'll be ready for the regular-season opener against Philadelphia on Oct. 3.
The Devils consulted the same doctor that performed Elias' groin surgery four years ago, Philadelphia sports hernia specialist Dr. William Meyers.
"At the consultation of our doctors and Dr. Meyers, what he did was he decided to look and see what was going on there after doing an MRI," Lamoriello said. "He had a lot of scar tissue that had been built up in that area. He simply broke up the scar tissue. Everything went extremely well; what we're using as a time frame is anywhere from three to six weeks. That is, when I say six weeks, I mean fully ready to play, depending on where his conditioning is – that's why we go three to six. The doctor felt we could be fairly agressive right away because it was, simplistically, scar tissue."
Elias' teammates heard the news for the first time Wednesday morning.
"It's a big hole to fill obviously," said Brian Rolston
. "Patrik's a great hockey player and a huge part of this team. Having said that, I think we have a lot of veteran hockey players in here; we have a good group, a tremendous group. I expect us to be able to fill the gap until he gets back. I truly believe we will."
The Devils overcame a long list of injuries last season to capture their eighth Atlantic Division title. Rolston was among them, missing 18 games because of an ankle injury. Martin Brodeur
was sidelined for 50 games after left elbow surgery, and a broken hand cost Andy Greene
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