Shea Weber is expected to be out until mid-December for the Montreal Canadiens after having arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscal tear in his right knee.
The defenseman already was rehabilitating from March 13 surgery to repair tendons in his left foot. The knee surgery, which was done June 19, has a recovery period of 5-6 months.
"It was determined that the damage to his knee was more serious than previously anticipated and the situation required a more comprehensive procedure to repair a meniscal tear," Canadiens head physician Dr. David Mulder said. "It is important to mention that this procedure could not have been performed earlier due to his recovery to his previous foot surgery. As such, we expect a recovery period from this latest knee surgery to be 5-6 months, which will keep him out of action until mid-December 2018.
"Shea is now home and making a good recovery. I talked to Shea yesterday and he is weight-bearing on the left side and I think he is making good progress."
Video: Weber expected to miss 5-6 months after knee surgery
Mulder said the knee surgery was intended to be minor, but it was "discovered that the medial meniscus was more seriously injured ... and required more complicated surgery, which was done very successfully."
Weber, who turns 33 on Aug. 14, was limited to 26 games last season with injuries to his foot and knee; he had 16 points (six goals, 10 assists). Prior to that, he played at least 78 games in eight consecutive full NHL seasons since 2008-09.
"We were very disappointed to learn that this knee injury will extend Shea's recovery period," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said. "Unfortunately, this situation is out of our control and we have to fully trust the medical group in these situations. We are confident that his recovery will go as scheduled and that Shea will return to action as soon as possible."
Weber first injured his foot blocking a shot against the Buffalo Sabres in the season opener Oct. 5. He missed seven games in November but returned to play six games in December. In his final game, the NHL 100 Classic against the Ottawa Senators at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa on Dec. 16, he played 22:58. He left the Canadiens to have the foot evaluated Dec. 18.
"It looked like maybe the fracture caused some damage to the tendon, but it's hard really to tell," Weber said March 27, according to Sportsnet. "At the end of the day I've played with fractures before, so if they would've told me it was fractured at the start of the year I don't think I would've done anything different. I probably would've played through it as best as I could and obviously it's unfortunate that it ended up making it worse and damaging it. I think constantly playing on it made it worse."
Mulder said he believes leaning on the side of caution will benefit Weber and the Canadiens in the long run.
"An extra month or two of rehab is going to be an investment or money in the bank in terms of Shea's ankle and foot," Mulder said. "So we're all very optimistic that we've had this procedure done now and that it's going ... imagine how we would have felt if he'd got back after his ankle injury, got on the ice and locked his knee. And then we're six months behind and he's out for the rest of the year.
"So we feel we have to be very positive about this. Shea is positive that he is going to make a full recovery and we hope he'll be back in the five months rather than the six."
A second-round pick (No. 49) by the Nashville Predators in the 2003 NHL Draft, Weber has 501 points (189 goals, 312 assists) in 867 games with the Predators and Canadiens. He was acquired by Montreal in a trade from Nashville for defenseman P.K. Subban on June 29, 2016.