The Los Angeles Kings just can’t get things going on the injury front as the team suffered another setback as they announced that winger Ilya Kovalchuk will miss four weeks after undergoing an ankle bursectomy procedure this morning. Head coach Willie Desjardins said that injury is more of an infection of the bursa sacs, according to Fox Sports’ Jon Rosen. The procedure deals with bursa sacs, which are fluid-filled sacs that cushion high friction areas such as joints. Those sacs have become infected and required a surgical procedure to correct.
Kovalchuk had been struggling lately with the Kings as he had been demoted from a top-line player to the bottom-six for the last few games as many questions had started to arise surrounding new head coach Willie Desjardins sudden benching. Whether the injury had anything to do with it is unknown, but Kovalchuk, who has just five goals and 14 points in 25 games this season. While those numbers are respectable, he has failed to register a point in the past 11 games, quite unlike the 35-year-old star. Throw in the fact that the Kings have just four wins in the last 12 games and none of the team’s losses provided them with even a point and the team sits in last place in the NHL standings.
The surgery could explain the team’s claiming of Nikita Scherbak earlier today as the team is up against the cap and have Carl Hagelin on LTIR currently. The team was expected to have some serious cap issues once Hagelin was to be activated (he’s out three to five weeks with a lower-body injury), the team would have trouble getting below the cap. Scherbak’s contract wasn’t going to improve things in L.A. However, with Kovalchuk going on injured reserve, the team may have some extra means of staying ahead of the cap.