Kovalchuk has missed the Devils last seven games with a shoulder injury. New Jersey has struggled without him in the lineup. He is firing light wrist-shots at Brodeur so he clearly is not ready to go yet, but it is a positive sign.
Devils coach Pete DeBoer said this morning that there is still no exact timetable for Ilya Kovalchuk’s return from his right shoulder injury, but he expects he will be back to help the team fight to get into the playoffs.
How many games Kovalchuk will be back in time to play is unknown. He obviously won’t play in Saturday’s home game against Toronto (or Sunday in Buffalo). Forward Steve Sullivan will play, though, for the first time since being reacquired in Wednesday’s trade with Phoenix.
Lamoriello said initial prognosis is Kovalchuk will miss 2-4 weeks. He's having MRI right now. X-ray was negative.
Kovalchuk does not require surgery. This is a tough break for the Devils and Kovalchuk's fantasy owners. With only a few weeks left in the Fantasy season, Kovalchuk will be on the shelf for the majority of it.
It is inevitable Ilya Kovalchuk will return to the Devils for at least part of training camp, but the timing of that return from Russia may determine whether the big winger has created any hard feelings among his teammates or management.
Either way, it's good news that Kovy is going to be returning to the NHL despite missing some camp.