Rick Nash missed the final two games before the All Star break because of a bad bone bruise on his left leg and not even the week-long break away from the rink was able to make the severe pain go away. As a result Nash was unable to join his teammates who returned to practice Monday afternoon at the MSG Training Center and he will not be able to play Tuesday when the Rangers face off with the Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark.
Head coach Alain Vigneault explained that Nash underwent another CT scan Monday morning, which did not reveal any more serious damage to the leg than the original diagnosis if a bone bruise.
"It's a bad bone bruise and it's taken longer our medical crew thought it would," stated Vigneault. "He's still feeling pain and he's having a tough time walking."
Nash was originally hurt in the third period of New York's 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes down in Raleigh on January 22 and he sat out the subsequent games in Ottawa against the Senators at Madison Square Garden against the Buffalo Sabres over the next three days.
He has not been on the ice even to skate on his own since suffering the injury, a span of ten days.
"Rick Nash is a quiet leader in our group and he leads by example, he brings it every night and is a top-six forward that will be badly missed," offered alternate captain Derek Stepan. "At the same time injuries happen, and great teams find a way to have guys step into roles. We have to find a way to get it done with a big hole up front."
The Rangers play three games over the next five days--Tuesday in New Jersey, Thursday at home against the Minnesota Wild, and Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia against the Flyers. Vigneault did not say how many games he anticipated Nash could miss.