Dustin Byfuglien is going to be out of action until “at least the All-Star Break” according to Jets head coach Paul Maurice in an update to reporters Sunday morning. The NHL All-Star Game is January 26 with team returning to action two days later on the 28th on the road against the Philadelphia Flyers.
— Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) December 30, 2018
Maurice didn’t go into any more detail about the type of injury suffered, but he did specify that no surgery was required.
In Saturday afternoon’s game against the Minnesota Wild during the third period, Byfuglien suffered what looked to be an ankle injury after an awkward bump going into the corner behind the Jets net.
Looks like Byfuglien essentially rolled his ankle when hit by Kunin, edge caught pic.twitter.com/FRytVBFzhZ
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) December 29, 2018
Byfuglien had already missed three games earlier this season with a concussion, but despite that was having a strong year for the Jets, leading the team in assists and points by a defenseman while also tied for the lead in goals by a defenseman and leading the entire team in average ice time.
The “at least” qualifier in Buff’s diagnosis of being out until after the All-Star break is a hopeful one at that and not a promise that he will for sure return. That would mean he would miss the next 10 Jets games before we get another update on his progress and his return isn’t guaranteed once the break has finished.
In the meantime, the Jets could look to activate Joe Morrow back into the lineup – Morrow hasn’t played for the Jets since November 27 as he was out for a length of time with a lower body injury. The Jets could also look to call Sami Niku back onto the main roster as he did impress in his last stint with the team earlier this month.
Tucker Poolman will not be an option for re-call from the AHL for now as he remains out with a concussion.