New Jersey Devils’ forward Dainius Zubrus will be sidelined for four to six weeks according to a statement released by the team.
Zubrus suffered the injury to his wrist in the Devils win over the rival New York Rangers on February 5th.
The thirty-four year old sat out the next four games before deciding to undergo exploratory surgery on Valentine’s Day.
His extended absence precipitated the team’s trade for Alexei Ponikarovsky from the Winnipeg Jets.
Ponikarovsky, who was traded to the Devils last season from the Carolina Hurricanes before signing with the Jets as a free agent over the summer, scored a goal in Friday’s win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
While he may have been struggling with the Jets with just one goal in 12 games, Ponikarovsky looked very comfortable on the ice with the Devils last night. His teammates have all expressed excitement at the prospect of Ponikarovsky’s return in various interviews following the trade.
However, Zubrus, who was originally drafted by the Flyers in the 1996 NHL entry draft, will be missed.
In eighty-two games last season, Zubrus had seventeen goals and forty-four assists. During the playoffs, Zubrus contributed three goals and ten assists in the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Zubrus is the first Lithuanian player to have played one thousand games in the NHL.