Scary news on the heels of the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 preseason loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets today. Goalie Tomas Vokoun, who was not scheduled to play tonight, reportedly had some leg pain and swelling today, saw doctors and eventually had to go to the hospital and undergo a procedure to dissolve a blood clot in his hip.
From the team:
The most important thing right now is Tomas’ health and well-being,” Penguins General Manager Ray Shero said. “The clot was dissolved by the procedure, and the doctors tell us that he will remain in the hospital for several days. We will continue to monitor his progress after that.”
Dr. Christopher Harner, the Penguins’ team physician, said there was no injury that led to the clot.
Definitely scary and we'll all hope for Vokoun's health first and worry about when he'll be available to play hockey down the line. As Shero went on to say "indefinitely means indefinitely" so there truly isn't a timetable nor does the team know how long this recovery might take. It just sounds like for the time being that everyone is hoping for the best for Vokoun.
And as Trib columnist Dejan Kovacevic points out, this isn't the first time that Vokoun has had blood clot issues.
A couple of Pittsburgh main-stream media members have pointed out that Vokoun missed "much" or "a lot" of time in 2005-06 with blood clots, which is half-true. He did have this condition previously, but it happened in April 2006 after he played 61 games that season, so he really didn't miss significant time, but it's still alarming that this is not the first time he's had to deal with a blood clot.
Without Vokoun the Pens plan to move forward with Jeff Zatkoff as their backup goalie. Zatkoff played with the Baby Pens last season and is a veteran of several seasons in the AHL. Marc-Andre Fleury will be charged with taking on a bigger role with no safety net now, which as crazy as it seems, might be exactly what he needs. The Penguins now have no choice but to turn to Fleury, so we'll see very quickly if he's able to put the demons of playoffs past behind him right off the bat of the 2013-14 season.