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Talbot to miss 4-5 months with shoulder surgery

by Dan Rosen
Even constant pain in his left shoulder couldn't stop Maxime Talbot from putting on a heroic Game 7 performance in the Stanley Cup Final last month. However, that pain was enough to send Talbot to the operating table Tuesday for a procedure that will keep him out of action for four to five months.

The Penguins announced late Tuesday morning that Talbot underwent successful surgery to repair a chronic shoulder problem and said his recovery could keep him out of action until at least November.

UPMC physician Dr. Mark Rodosky performed the surgery to repair a torn labrum in Talbot's left shoulder.

"Max has played with this problem for quite a while and we all agreed it was best for him to have the surgery at this time," Penguins GM Ray Shero said in a statement. "Although he will miss training camp and the start of the season, the doctors expect him to make a complete recovery."

Talbot helped Pittsburgh secure its first Stanley Cup in 17 years by scoring both goals in the Penguins' 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of the Final.

The affable forward had 8 goals and 5 assists for 13 points in 24 playoff games, spending most of his time on Evgeni Malkin's right wing as Malkin won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP. Talbot finished the 2008-09 season with 12 goals and 10 assists in 75 games. He has 42 goals and 38 assists in 261 career NHL games.

Talbot's absence will hurt the Penguins' forward depth, though the team did add Mike Rupp and re-sign Bill Guerin, Ruslan Fedotenko and Craig Adams this offseason.

"He played hurt this year, even though it didn't look like it in Game 7," Talbot's agent, Pat Brisson, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday. "It shows how much character he has. That shoulder was popping in and out."

The Penguins should be used to having a key player miss the start of the season following shoulder surgery. Star defenseman Sergei Gonchar missed the first 57 games of 2008-09 after requiring shoulder surgery due to an injury suffered in a preseason game.

According to the Penguins, Talbot shouldn't be out that long, but his presence will be missed.

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