Tim Connolly has experienced a small setback in his return to Buffalo Sabres lineup in the form of a broken bone. Connolly suffered a small stress fracture below his knee during a workout and will be unable to skate for seven to 10 days.
"Talk about bad luck," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "He gets slapped with it again."
After mentioning soreness in his knee, Connolly went through further evaluation by the medical staff on Monday afternoon. The break was discovered then.
"In Tim's case, you feel sorry for him," said Ruff. "It's something that's been bothering him and has been sore. We had it checked out and it turned out to be a little more serious than we originally thought it was."
Connolly's recovery had been relatively smooth over the past two weeks since he began on-ice workouts on January 29.
There is a silver lining for this dark cloud. The center, who was sidelined by a Peter-Schaefer hit in the second round of last year's playoffs, will be able to continue his training regiments but will be held from lacing up his skates until the bone is healed.
"We can continue increasing the load on the upper body," said Ruff. "He can do all the work that is needed to be done in the pool. It's just the fact that we can't have him skating. We have to calm down and probably within seven days he'll be back out there."
Ruff estimated Connolly's potential return in late January to be between six to eight weeks barring any speed bumps in the road. But no exact date was set when that timeline would begin or end.
It is unsure how this most recent injury will affect that process.
"We're still going to make gains off the ice when it comes to his conditioning."