Fantasy Hockey Injury Updates for Sunday

Little is known about John Tavares' injury other than it sucks. - Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A fantasized look at NHL injuries and action from Saturday night.

BIG BLOWS

David Backes (Blues): He has been on this list far too often lately. Returning from injury, Backes left Saturday's game after suffering some sort of unknown upper-body injury. He had over 20 minutes on the ice before screwing over his fantasy owners again.

Zdeno Chara (Bruins): This was not a fun day for the Bruins. They lost Seidenberg for the year (see below) and then Chara was a late scratch with a mystery injury of uncertain severity. He is listed as day-to-day for now, no one knows what is wrong or when he will play again, hockey injury news is often enlightening. You're welcome.

Chris Phillips (Senators): While blocking a shot in Friday's game, Phillips hurt his foot and was unable to play yesterday. Consider him day-to-day for now, but the somewhat useful d-man should be back soon.

Dennis Seidenberg (Bruins): In a huge blow to Boston, Dennis Seidenberg tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. He was having a solid year with one goal, nine assists, a +11 rating, and nearly 22 minutes on the ice per game. As injuries mount, the Bruins may look for help on the trade market; keep an eye out for Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi, or Wade Redden, amongst other candidates in need of a change of scenery.

Vladimir Sobotka (Blues): Expected to return from injured reserve, Sobotka extended his mini-vacay by aggravating his upper-body injury during morning practice. He sat for the fifth-straight game, but there is a chance he could play on Sunday against Dallas. Let's not hold our breath.

John Tavares (Islanders): As further proof that the Universe hates the Islanders, John Tavares missed Saturday's game with an undisclosed lower-body injury, ending his streak of 246 consecutive games. He has not missed a game since October 15, 2010 when he was out with a concussion. While Coach Jack Capuano confirmed that the injury did not occur during New York's last game, but instead had "been bothering him" and "lingering" for awhile; there is no timetable for his return. Without any empirical evidence or basis for saying so, I do not expect this tough cookie to be out for long.

QUICK HITS

Cody Hodgson (Sabres): In a rare useful injury update, Hodgson was injured 10 days ago while blocking a shot and hurt his left thumb and wrist. He is sporting a cast and expected to miss at least another week. Monitor the situation accordingly if he is riding your bench.

Zach Parise (Wild): Parise, who bruised his foot on November 25th against St. Louis, was officially placed on injured reserve; he can return at any time. In his place, the Wild recalled goalie Johan Gustafsson, while Matt Cooke has been holding down Parise's spot on the first line.

Derek Roy (Blues): Roy was scratched with herpes. Or "flu-like symptoms." Details, whatever.

Jason Spezza (Senators): Out with an ambiguous lower-body injury, Spezza will undergo further tests today. It is not expected to be serious and he could play as soon as Monday if all goes well.

Anton Volchenkov (Devils): He is day-to-day with perhaps the best injury ever, "total body soreness."

NUGGETS OF HOPE

Justin Abdelkader (Red Wings): After missing five games with a concussion, the hard-hitting goon returned to action.

Corey Crawford (Blackhawks): Look for the goalie to return next week by Thursday or Friday. While Antti Raanta has been playing well in his place, Crawford will be an even better option to start the second half.

Steve Downie (Flyers): The bruiser is back from his upper-body injury.

Jimmy Howard (Red Wings): Detroit's goalie should return on Monday or Wednesday. I am intrigued how the team handles Jonas Gustavsson, who has really held his own since Howard went down.

Evgeni Malkin (Penguins): Still out with a lower-body injury and still not cleared for contact, Malkin has been practicing and expects to return to the lineup soon.

Bryce Salvador (Devils): The Devils' captain returned after breaking his foot on October 22nd and had over 23 minutes on the ice.

Tim Thomas (Panthers): The goalie with a wonky groin will start today after being activated off the injured-reserve list.

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