The initial diagnosis for Jack Eichel is a troubling one.
The Sabres announced Wednesday afternoon that their star center has a high-ankle sprain. Buffalo has not set a timeline for Eichel’s return, but other players have missed months with the ailment. One of those was Buffalo goaltender Robin Lehner last year, who missed more than 10 weeks and then needed season-ending surgery after it didn’t recover properly after his return.
It typically takes a hockey player 46 to 48 days to recover from a high ankle sprain, the Toronto Star reported in 2011, quoting a study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
Eichel suffered the injury Wednesday morning when his skate caught in the ice during practice.
Even if Eichel is back in a month, which could be considered a best-case scenario, he will miss 15 games. That’s a significant blow to a team seeking to end a five-year playoff drought.