The Dallas Stars suffered another blow on the injury front Friday. Center Mattias Janmark is expected to be out five to six months due to knee surgery to correct an issue with a joint in his knee.
Janmark was scheduled to undergo the procedure Friday afternoon to correct the issue, which is called osteochondritis dissecans.
"It's a condition that develops in joints due to a lack of blood supply in that area," Stars GM Jim Nill explained to media Friday morning. "What happened with Mattias is he had a small segment, approximately 21 millimeters by 11 millimeters, that became displaced and it's locked in his knee. Today, our team doctor is going to do an operation and take that bone segment and reattach it."
Janmark skated in Wednesday's pregame skate when the issue flared up, and he missed that night's game. Thursday he was on crutches and doctors determined surgery was necessary. Nill said the healing and rehabilitation is approximately five to six months with a possible return in April. Janmark is expected to be on crutches four to six weeks.
"We're looking at him maybe being available for the playoffs, but we'll have to play that by ear," Nill said.
Janmark's condition is congenital, and Nill said the prognosis for a 100 percent recovery is still to be determined.
"That's something they'll find out when they get in there," Nill said. "I was told 80 percent chance of full recovery. We'll go from there."
Video: Nill updates the media on Mattias Janmark
The 22-year-old Janmark was set to begin his second full NHL season. He was a major surprise last season, making the team out of training camp and registering 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) in 73 games.
"It's obviously a big loss for us," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "Matty was a big part of our team, played a lot of different positions and in a lot of different situations. He was a real important piece for us."
Janmark becomes the latest in a long list of injured Stars, and the list is stacked with those at the center position. Cody Eakin will miss the first part of the season with a knee injury. Tyler Seguin (heel) hasn't started skating yet, although he is expected to get back on the ice next week and Nill is hopeful he'll be ready to start the season. Jason Dickinson (hip surgery) is out until probably November. Devin Shore (ankle) is out right now but skating. Travis Morin (illness) still hasn't passed his physical.
Right wing Ales Hemsky (groin) is sidelined as well. And the Stars also took a hit to their forward depth before camp started when Valeri Nichushkin signed in the KHL.
Asked if he could look at making a move to get some help up front, Nill, as he usually does, said he is keeping all his options open.
"We're very comfortable where we are at. We're going to take a look," Nill said. "You're always looking to add to get better, but we are comfortable with what we have. Nobody feels sorry for us. This is part of the game. We've got lots of depth, and it's an opportunity for someone else."
Video: Stars GM Nill on Dallas' injuries
As for up the middle, Adam Cracknell has been playing center in training camp and preseason games. Shore, once healthy, is an option. Ruff said Justin Dowling and Gemel Smith will get longer looks now and so will others.
"Some names that were not on the radar are on the radar, and that enthusiasm for those players should be pretty great right now," Ruff said. "Players realize numbers, players realize opportunity, and there are some opportunities that lie ahead for some players."
Notes: Seguin expected to start skating next week
*Stars GM Jim Nill said Tyler Seguin is doing better and the hope is he'll start skating next week. "Still on schedule to be available for the start of the season," Nill said.
*C Cody Eakin (knee) is likely to be ready the first week of November, Nill said.
*C Devin Shore (ankle) is expected to be skating full time on Monday.
*Nill said C Jason Dickinson, who had offseason hip surgery, is looking at a November return.
*RW Ales Hemsky (groin) is doing some light skating. Nill said he should be ready to start the season.
*C Travis Morin (illness) is skating but is still not well enough to pass his physical. He could be ready to start the season.
Who: Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues
Where: Scottrade Center
When: 7:00 p.m.
Stars Projected Lineup
Here is the Stars expected lineup for tonight's preseason game in St. Louis. Kari Lehtonen is expected to play the entire game in goal.
Jiri Hudler - Jason Spezza - Patrick Sharp
Brandon DeFazio - Justin Dowling - Patrick Eaves
Remi Elie - Adam Cracknell - Brett Ritchie
Curtis McKenzie - Gemel Smith - Brendan Ranford
Dan Hamhuis - John Klingberg
Jamie Oleksiak - Stephen Johns
Mattias Backman - Julius Honka