Now there's a timetable for how long the Rangers will have to go on living without the heart of their team, and it's a timetable that even at its worst can be weathered.
Wednesday the Rangers announced that captain Ryan Callahan will be out 10-14 days after suffering a left shoulder subluxation as a result of a third-period fight with the Flyers' Max Talbot in the Rangers' 2-1 win on Tuesday. The injury is a temporary and partial dislocation, which is the best-case scenario for what looked to be a much more serious injury at the time.
"What it means is that the shoulder joint, the ball in the socket, the ball slides part of the way out but doesn't get stuck out," said Dr. Brad Parsons, an orthopedic surgeon at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who is a shoulder specialist but does not work with NHL players.
"If it's just a subluxation, the deep structures of the shoulder might have gotten stretched or strained — the ligaments and muscles, and that obviously causes pain. But usually a period of rest, two weeks or so, will allow the shoulder inflammation to resolve or get better."
The competitor in Callahan will not take the rest easily, but the good news is that he is a hockey player, where most of the sport is played with his arm below shoulder level. As opposed to a sport where his arm might be above his head, Callahan's recovery will be dictated by how long it takes to regain strength and flexibility rather than structural mending.
That and pain management, which never has seemed like a problem for the 5-foot-11 ball of energy from Rochester.
"There might be pain," Dr. Parsons said. "But as long as it's not giving him symptoms, in a few weeks, he'll be able to do all the things he'll need to be successful again."
The team, on the other hand, is a different story. What the Rangers need to be successful is to do their best attempting to fill Callahan's multi-faceted role, not just as a locker room leader, but as a penalty killer, a power play staple, and an even-strength grinder with a bit of touch.
Rangers' Callahan to miss 10-14 days
New York Post | Jan 31