– Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar
will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder Thursday and miss four to six months – although, as general manager Ray Shero
noted Tuesday, that means he’ll be back before the end of the regular season
“It’s not the worst-case scenario, because in the worst case, he would have been out the entire season,” Shero said. “With a four-to-six month time frame, we’re going to get him back at some point. And when he comes back, we’re going to have a spot for him.”
Gonchar, 34, one of the league’s elite and most underrated defenseman, suffered ligament and cartilage damage during his first shift of the Penguins’ first pre-season game Sept. 20 against Tampa Bay. After consulting with medical specialists and considering various options, the decision was made to have the arthroscopic procedure.
UPMC physician Dr. Mark Rodosky will perform the surgery Thursday in Pittsburgh.
“We just wanted Sergei to make a decision that he would be comfortable with -- and his mood is good,” Shero said. “I think he’s clear in what he wants to do. This is the best thing for his career and the best chance to hopefully fix it permanently and come back this year.”
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