The last time P.K. Subban suited up for the Nashville Predators was Dec. 15. That evening, Subban skated more than 25 minutes, fired three pucks on goal and left the ice with no one suspecting it would be the final time he would suit up in 2016.
Here we are, though, more than two weeks later and the Predators star blueliner hasn’t been able to hit the ice for even a single second of meaningful ice time, and according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Subban has even been having difficulty when it comes to simply getting out and practicing.
“The word is that he has a herniated disc, which the Predators have not confirmed or denied that that is the actual injury,” Friedman said during Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. “He skated yesterday. It didn’t go well. He skated again today. Word is it didn’t go well again. So what we understand is that the Predators, their doctors and P.K. Subban will meet Sunday and decide a course of action.”
Friedman added that there may be a few ways forward for the Predators and Subban, and, unfortunately, one of those options would be surgery that could stand to “knock him out for a long time.”
What exactly the root of the injury was for Subban is incredibly difficult to pinpoint at this time, but that he has missed seven-straight games without any clarity on exactly what he is battling is concerning. It’s also bizarre given that it would have been impossible to tell Subban was dealing with any ailment at all in the outings leading up to his subsequent absence.
Beginning on Nov. 29, Subban went on a run of eight games where he saw more ice time than any other player in the lineup. That started with a nearly 29-minute outing against the Colorado Avalanche, included three 27-plus minute games and only one game in which Subban skated less than 23 minutes, and even that came by a mere 11 seconds.
Subban had been held off the score sheet in the final four outings before he hit the shelf, but that’s not all that concerning for a blueliner, and less so when considering he had mustered 17 shots over those four games. And in the four games prior to his mini scoring drought, Subban chipped in two goals and three points.
Being without Subban for an extended period of time is about as bad a blow as the Predators could suffer. While he’s a relatively fresh face in their lineup, his impact had already been sizeable. He has racked up seven goals and 17 points in 29 games while skating more than 25 minutes per night.
UPDATE: The Predators announced Sunday afternoon that Subban has been placed on the injured reserve with an upper-body injury and "his status will be reevaluated in approximately two to three weeks."
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