Report: Keegan Kolesar to miss 6 weeks for Thunderbirds with lower-body injury
Thunderbirds forward Keegan Kolesar is expected to miss six weeks following surgery for a supraumbilical hernia, according to Aaron Portzline, who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets for The Columbus Dispatch.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) September 28, 2016
It’s a huge blow for the T-Birds, who just received some good news that the Edmonton Oilers would be returning fellow 19-year-old Ethan Bear to Seattle for the season.
With the questionable return of Mathew Barzal and the loss of Ryan Gropp, Seattle needs all of the offensive help it can get. The T-Birds knew the first couple of weeks would be tough with players – namely Kolesar and Bear – at NHL camps, but Kolesar’s delayed return means the team will need to find even more offense elsewhere.
This puts Kolesar’s return timeline somewhere around the middle of November, but should he go through rehab under Columbus’ guidance, it could be even longer until he’s back in Seattle. During the 2014-15 season, Shea Theodore was hurt at training camp with the Anaheim Ducks and didn’t return until after the World Junior Championships, playing in only 43 regular season games with the T-Birds.
With Kolesar expected to miss significant time, it means that Seattle will be without three of their four leading scorers from last season for at least the first couple months of the year. Bear, who should be in the lineup this weekend, is the only player on the roster who amassed more than 42 points last season.
Kolesar’s injury is a huge blow for Seattle, which was expecting him to assume an enormous responsibility offensively this year. That means players like Scott Eansor, Donovan Neuls, Nolan Volcan, Cavin Leth, Alexander True, Bear, and others will need to shoulder even more of the offensive workload.