Jordan Staal (right foot) was examined by team doctors on Monday and according to a league source, Staal received good news and the latest setback is not considered serious.
No further injury was revealed to the tendon and there appears to be no longterm damage to the tendon.
Staal will be re-evaluated in about two weeks and the expectation for now is that he won’t be at full strength for when camp opens on September 17th but at this time is not expected to miss a significant period of time, if any.
The consensus in Staal’s camp is that he should be close to full strength in about four weeks or “so”. The Penguins open the season at home on Thursday, October 7th.
The Penguins will not rush Staal’s return back to the ice by anymeans, which could eventually put his status for the season opener in jeopardy.
Staal’s skating has been limited throughout the summer as the normal rehab period for his type of injury is three-to-four months.
It is not clear if the Penguins will be making an official statement on Staal’s status at this time. The team is very forthcoming on the injury status of players but only when there is an official diagnosis and time period for a return.
In Staal’s situation, this is an injury based more on how his foot is going to react when it endures more wear and tear as he begins harder workouts, skates.
As it has been well documented throughout the summer, the Penguins project Staal to play a major role offensively this season.
Not only will he be given a prime opportunity to center the second line, Staal figures to play a more increased role on the power play.
A contact close to Staal told me earlier this summer that head coach Dan Bylsma gave Staal tapes to watch this summer as the team is looking for him to mold his game on the power play to the likes of a Tomas Holmstrom.
Staal had just 1 power play goal in limited No. 1 unit time last season. The Penguins have lost two prominent players on the power play in Billy Guerin and Sergei Gonchar.
Guerin had 11 goals and 7 assists on the power play last season. Gonchar had 30 power play points in 62 games last season.