As Juuse Saros walked into the Nashville Predators weight room to address reporters after locker cleanout day, he showed no visible limp or lingering side effects from the lower-body injury that kept him out of the postseason.
Although the Predators kept details of his injury under wraps, it was reported that Saros had suffered a high ankle sprain and would miss significant time. On Tuesday, Saros finally cleared the air regarding what happened and his potential recovery timetable.
“It was in the Calgary game; we were on the [penalty kill] and I had to slide to the back post really hard,” Saros recalled. “Then at the same time, I was trying to seal the short side and kind of fell on top of my leg awkwardly. I felt it pop right away and then there was like two more minutes, and I made a couple more saves but every time I went up and down, it just felt really bad so that’s when I kind of knew it’s going to be a while.”
Saros saved 30 of the 33 shots he saw against the Flames but left the game after 53:28, leaving backup David Rittich to close it out.
Rittich allowed two goals on five shots, including the game-tying goal with 0.1 seconds left that sent it to overtime and the eventual game winner just two minutes into the extra period.
Knowing something in his ankle had torn, Saros says he was prepping himself for the worst-case scenario as he was being helped off the ice and brought back to the locker room.
“The first thing I asked the doctor was is it like the kind of injury that it happens once and it’s easier to get it again, but they said it’s not like that,” Saros continued. “Once it recovers, it’s good to go and I don’t have to worry about if I might [tear] it again. So, that kind of gave me peace of mind.”
Two weeks and one day removed from when the injury occurred, Saros stated his recovery process is going smoothly. He skated some on Sunday and Monday, and although he doesn’t have a specific timetable, Saros estimates it shouldn’t be too long before he can begin practicing with full movement.
“I don’t know exactly [when the injury will be healed],” he said. “It could take two more weeks, or it could take four more weeks, I don’t really know at this point. It’s started to heal pretty well, so hopefully I can get back on the ice pretty soon, but we don’t know exactly.”
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