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Ilya Kovalchuk’s “Ankle Thing” to Keep Him Out Four Weeks

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Time to fire up the old google dot com to learn about medicine again.

NHL: Preseason-Arizona Coyotes at Los Angeles Kings Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

What coach Willie Desjardins originally referred to as an “ankle thing” for Ilya Kovalchuk is a bit more significant than a minor sprain or some soreness. Today, the Kings announced that Kovalchuk will be out for around four weeks after undergoing an ankle bursectomy procedure.

We’ve learned about all sorts of body parts here at Jewels from the Crown this season; we’ve previously covered “what exactly is a meniscus” when both Jonathan Quick and Jack Campbell underwent surgery to fix theirs. Today, we’ll learn about bursa, which are small, fluid-filled sacs which lubricate joints as they move. An inflamed bursa can cause swelling, pain, and fever and chills when infected.

Kovalchuk has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 25 games. He has not gotten onto the scoresheet since a three-point night against the Anaheim Ducks on November 6, Willie Desjardins’ debut as head coach for the Kings.

This does add additional context to the Kings’ selection of Nikita Scherbak on waivers. Aside from taking a chance on a talented young prospect who has yet to pan out with his former team, the Kings are also very thin on the wing. Rob Blake has said that Scherbak will be assigned to Los Angeles, rather than to Ontario, and presumably will get first crack at staying in the lineup over less experienced players like Sheldon Rempal or Austin Wagner.

Best of luck to Kovalchuk in his recovery.