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Dubas Updates Kris Letang’s ‘Significant’ Injury, 2 Others



Pittsburgh Penguins, Kris Letang

CRANBERRY — Kris Letang wasn’t dealing with an injury later in the season when he missed practices and most morning skates. He was dealing with multiple injuries, and at least one is serious.

Letang confirmed he was dealing with injuries on breakup day Thursday, but president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas implied surgery was probable, though he gave no specificity nor quantified the potential length of absence.

“Kris was going to get a second opinion on all that ails him, which is significant,” said Dubas. He’s played with it the whole year. It’s likely going to head that way (surgery), and then we’ll have an update once he makes a decision.”

Letang was one of six Penguins to play in all 82 games. With some surprise, all three members of the Penguins core (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Letang) played every game. So, too, did 34-year-old Lars Eller, Erik Karlsson, and Marcus Pettersson.

“The way the schedule is and the travel and the way the schedule is changing, I think it is always a remarkable feat … I think especially in Kris’s case, the things that he went through during the year to make sure that he could be available in all 82 games was remarkable,” Dubas said. “(It) speaks to who he is as a person, how competitive he is, and what he’s willing to put on the table for the team.”

On Thursday, during the Penguins locker cleanouts, Letang admitted he’s been dealing with injuries, though he didn’t necessarily admit as much as Dubas.

“I was going through some stuff,” Letang admitted.

Coach Mike Sullivan heaped praise on Letang without going into details.

“He was dealing with a myriad of injuries for a long time, and he’s a warrior,” said Sullivan Thursday. “There’s no other way to put it. Some of the things he was dealing with down the stretch and continuing to play through to help us try to get to where we wanted was a big reason he wasn’t at practice.”

Matt Nieto

Dubas also updated Penguins’ forward Matt Nieto, who played just 22 games this season and not since November 30.

Dubas signed Nieto to a two-year, $1.8 million contract on July 1 but didn’t get a lot of bang for his buck in the first year.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever felt as bad for somebody throughout the year just in terms of the amount of work (he) put in, and every time he would put the work in, he would have a setback,” said Dubas. “He had a successful surgery, then in coming back, sustained another injury. So I mean, he’s going to go next week for another and final opinion on what the future is, in terms of whether he’s going to rehab or have another operation.”

John Ludvig

Ludvig missed time due to the “violent” illness that swept the team beginning in New York on April 1, but he never got back into the lineup. He was also battling injury.

The defenseman, whom the Penguins claimed on waivers after he didn’t make it through the Florida Panthers’ final cuts, played 33 games, registering five points (3-2-5), and had five fights, too.

“John Ludvig is another that we’ll have a further update on whether he requires any type of operation to alleviate his issues,” Dubas offered.