If the Penguins advance to the second round and beyond, will Evgeni Malkin not Sidney Crosby become the story to watch for the Penguins? Don’t rule it out…..
Initially labeled as being sidelined for 6 months, that timetable is misleading by several months due to the injury not being as severe once doctors performed surgery on February 10th.
The rumor mill has been buzzing since the weekend when Malkin began skating and head coach Dan Bylsma would not rule out Malkin for the post-season, following Saturday’s game.
After talking to various contacts over the past 48 hours, Malkin’s injury (from the surgery date 2/10/11) is now considered a three-to-four month injury, according to sources.
Those in Evgeni Malkin’s camp believe if the Penguins keep on winning, Malkin making a shocking return in the playoffs is possibility.
“He is doing very well, ” J.P. Barry, the agent for Evgeni Malkin, told Inside Pittsburgh Sports this afternoon.
The key phrase from Barry during my conversation with him was “Hopefully Pens Keep Winning, ” when discussing Malkin’s accelerated rehab period.
No one in Malkin’s camp is ready to close the door on him playing in the post-season.
Malkin is expected to continue his rehab of immediate skating this week and has been undergoing daily physical therapy with physical therapist Mark Mortland who is one of the best in the business.
For the past 2-3 weeks I’ve kind of laughed off the whispers of Malkin possibly returning if the Penguins played into late May but based on what I’ve been able to gather, Malkin is only 3 weeks or so out from skating at full strength.
Does it mean the Penguins would even consider letting Malkin play? That remains to be seen but if the Penguins keep winning and get past the second round, this is going to become a situation to watch.