The Pittsburgh Penguins injury situation has reached almost laughable levels as injuries continue to decimate their lineup. Thursday, the Penguins announced defenseman Justin Schultz out Thursday with a lower body injury which he suffered at practice on Wednesday.
Head coach Mike Sullivan indicated Schultz would be out longer-term with the injury. The injury means the Penguins will be without their top two right-side defensemen and their top two scoring defensemen.
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Top defenseman Kris Letang remains out but has been skating on his own.
Sullivan also said 6-foot-6 center Nick Bjugstad had surgery Thursday to repair a core muscle injury. He will be out for approximately eight weeks. Bjugstad is the third Penguins player this season to suffer a core muscle injury. Defenseman Zach Trotman, who was recalled Thursday, was the first to miss time with a core muscle injury, otherwise known as a sports hernia. Sidney Crosby has been out for two weeks with a sports hernia and will remain out for at least four more weeks. Now, Bjugstad will miss time.
Pending the severity, core muscle injury recoveries range from four weeks or less to six weeks or more.
Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist returned to the lineup Thursday after six games. He suffered a lower body injury against Boston in early November and has not played since.
The Penguins injuries have kept the lineup in pieces. They have played only two periods with their full roster this season.