Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jason Zucker appeared to suffer a serious injury last Thursday when he crashed into the boards, and his right leg extended awkwardly. Zucker was in immediate pain and had to be helped off the ice.
The headlines and the situation looked like a small tragedy. Zucker missed the previous 30 games after core muscle surgery and 37 of the previous 38 games.
The good news is–late Sunday night, Jason Zucker posted what seemed to be encouraging news on Instagram.
“Felt great being back on the ice after a long rehab. Not the way I planned for the game to go, but the win made up for it! Thank you for all the well wishes and concern over the last few days. I’m feeling better and hope to be back in the lineup soon.
Thank you to the great Wild fans for the warm welcome back. I will always have fond memories of playing at Xcel Energy Center!”
Including the partial game on Thursday, Zucker has 14 points (6-8-14) in 32 games. He earned an assist one minute into the game on Thursday in Minnesota, where he played for nine seasons before the Penguins acquired him near the 2020 NHL trade deadline. That was Zucker’s first game in Minnesota since the trade.
On Saturday, head coach Mike Sullivan shuffled the Penguins’ lines to deal with Zucker’s absence. Jeff Carter played on the right wing with Evgeni Malkin, and Rickard Rakell played on the left. Teddy Blueger moved up to third-line center and Brian Boyle back to fourth-line center. ‘
On Saturday, Sullivan indicated Zucker was undergoing further evaluation.
According to the roster on the official league media site, Zucker has not been placed on IR, which means he is eligible to play as soon as he’s ready. The Pittsburgh Penguins practice on Monday and host the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday at PPG Paints Arena.