Injuries are nothing new to the Buffalo Sabres, but just when it looked like the team was starting to get healthy the injury bug bit again. On Tuesday, the Buffalo Sabres confirmed that forward Ryan O’Reilly underwent appendectomy surgery during the Christmas break.
There’s no exact timetable on a potential return for O’Reilly, but Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told reporters on Tuesday that O'Reilly will need roughly two weeks for rest and recovery.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) December 27, 2016
O’Reilly, 25, had already missed six games this season with an oblique injury. In 27 games O’Reilly has 18 points (7G,11A) and is fourth on the Sabres in points.
O’Reilly is the lifeblood of the Sabres and is arguably their most important player up front. That being said, O’Reilly hasn’t been himself lately, and you could tell that something was wrong. Now we know there was an issue — and the Sabres will have to be without their best two-way forward for the foreseeable future.
So how long could O’Reilly be out of the lineup? Of course, I’m no doctor, and every situation is different, but these types of injuries have happened before.
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was sidelined for three weeks with an appendectomy earlier this season. Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty and Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn have also undergone the procedure in their careers — they both missed less than six games.
Coach Bylsma: Lehner starts tonight.
For O'Reilly, roughly 10-14 days of rest & recovery. pic.twitter.com/Os0eDbH5Aw
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) December 27, 2016
Without O’Reilly, the Sabres will somehow need to string some wins together to keep themselves within striking distance of the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic division. Currently, the Sabres are in last place in the Eastern Conference, but are eight points behind the Bruins with three games in hand.
Playing without O’Reilly will be a tall task for the Sabres — he’s a difference maker at both ends of the ice.
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