Bo Horvat will be re-evaluated in two weeks’ time after taking a slapshot to the lower right leg on Thursday night
The Vancouver Canucks’s playoff chase will have to press on without Bo Horvat.
The NHL team announced on Friday afternoon that Horvat will be “re-evaluated in two weeks” after taking a shot off his lower right leg on Thursday night against the Arizona Coyotes. The powerful shot from Coyotes defenceman Anton Stralman caught Horvat a few inches above his ankle, roughly where the hard plastic shell of his shin pad ends, drawing concern he took the force of the shot on his tibia.
There are just two weeks left in the regular season, so such a timeline rules him out of the seven games remaining on the Canucks’ schedule.
Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau tried to cast an upbeat tone on Horvat’s injury on Thursday night, but by Friday morning, his mood had changed.
“I don’t think he’ll be available Monday,” the veteran coach told reporters Friday after practice at Rogers Arena. “I think Bo is doubtful, would be the best way to put it.”
A source said that Horvat is using a walking boot and a knee scooter for the time being.
The Canucks host the Dallas Stars on Monday at Rogers Arena and then the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. Those are the first two games in a stretch of seven games in 12 days to wrap up the regular season.
To make the playoffs, the Canucks will have to overhaul one of the Vegas Golden Knights or Los Angeles Kings and like the Dallas Stars as well. To do so they can only afford one more loss on the season.
Rogers Arena is equipped with an X-ray machine — that’s an NHL requirement — so the team would have been able to get preliminary scans of his leg. Sometimes swelling can obstruct an X-ray image and so the team then proceeds with an MRI.
Boudreau didn’t reply when asked what the initial X-ray showed, he simply shrugged.
Boudreau said that he would be meeting with Jon Sanderson, the Canucks’ director of medical services and head athletic therapist, later in the day. The Canucks’ confirmation of Horvat’s injury presumably came around the same time as that meeting.
Horvat is the Canucks’ leading goal scorer this season with 31 goals in 70 games. He’s also added 21 assists.
Matt Highmore, who has been out for weeks with shoulder or neck injury, returned to Canucks practice on Friday and Brock Boeser, who hurt his elbow nearly two weeks ago, was slated to return to practice on Saturday. Saturday’s practice is at Burnaby 8 Rinks at 11 a.m.
The Canucks also announced that Nils Höglander, out since hurting his groin in practice on March 15, had surgery to repair a torn core muscle. There’s no timeline for his return, the team said.
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