As if the Washington Capitals and their fans needed any more bad news to come down the pipe, the hockey gods sent them some anyway.
According to the website Sovietsky Sport, and as first reported by TSN's Dmitry Chesnokov, Capitals super-prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov was "seriously injured" during the final moments of his team, Traktor Chelyabinsk's, game on Friday.
Chesnokov, citing Russian colleague Pavel Lysenkov, reported that Kuznetsov was checked and fell down late in the contest, immediately beginning to slam his hands on the ice. According to Lysenkov, Kuznetsov was "in terrible pain," writhing around on the ice surface and yelling. He had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher.
As of 11:30 AM Friday, Slava Malamud of Sport-Express had been told that Kuznetsov may have torn knee ligaments, and that this is the "preliminary diagnosis." However, at 12:30, Chesnokov noted that there were many unconfirmed reports that Kuznetsov may only have a severe bruise in his knee. This report was confirmed later by Lysenkov, who said that the Russian forward has "soft tissue bruising," according to his agent, and could miss three weeks.
At 1:45 PM on Friday, Traktor released the MRI results, according to Malamud. The examination concluded that there were no tears in the knee, and instead Kuznetsov has "slight damage in his knee ligaments." He is expected to play in the Russian Gagarin Cup playoffs, which begin on March 1.
Nothing on this story is definite yet, and it is still developing.
Harry Hawkings is a college student who covers the Caps for RtR. Follow him on Twitter here.