New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider has received some bad news, as he will require surgery and will be sidelined indefinitely.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 5, 2018
Kreider has been out since late December with a blood clot in his arm. His injury opened the door for Vinni Lettieri to make his NHL debut, in which he scored a goal. However, Lettieri has not played since as Jesper Fast returned for the Winter Classic.
Rib resection is a surgery in which a part of the first rib is removed surgically to relieve pressure on the nerves. It is commonly used to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition in which the nerves or arteries along the shoulder and/or lower neck are compressed.
Although there’s no official timetable for Kreider’s return, both Steven Stamkos and Andrei Vasilevskiy had blood clots and missed around two months. While that initially seems to be a reasonable timetable for Kreider to return, the surgery to resect the rib could complicate that.
New York sports fans are relatively familiar with thoracic outlet syndrome, as Matt Harvey of the New York Mets was shut down with the issue in 2016. That isn’t encouraging for Kreider’s chances of returning this season. However, it should be noted that throwing a baseball is one of the most stressful motions the human shoulder can be put through, especially rotationally, which is a huge concern with thoracic outlet syndrome.