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Pens optimistic on Guentzel’s timeframe to return following ankle surgery

Kyle Dubas said Monday that the team is hopeful he may miss as few as five games.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Penguins are feeling optimistic following Jake Guentzel’s ankle surgery that the star winger could miss as few as just five games at the start of the season.

The team announced last week that Guentzel was undergoing surgery and many questions arose as to whether this was a lingering issue or if it was a new injury suffered in Da Beauty League, an offseason league he plays in to keep himself in game shape.

Penguins team reporter Michele Crechiolo reports that Kyle Dubas said Monday that it something Guentzel was dealing with at the end of last season that ultimately wasn’t healing as the 2023-24 season approaches. Part of that preparation included testing the ankle in Da Beauty League, where it was decided that surgery was the best option.

On Monday, Dubas spoke about Guentzel’s timeframe to return and said that it could be as few as five games he misses, with his re-evaluation set to take place in 12 weeks.

“Around five games is kind of the projected number, but it’s medical, so you never want to put a lock on that because we always have got to do what is right for him,” Dubas said. “We’re hopeful it goes well, of course, but we want to make sure he is 100% ready to roll when he comes back.”

Crechiolo reports that the Pens aren’t planning to put Guentzel on LTIR, as that would require him to miss a minimum of 10 games and 24 days.

The team is set to open their season against the Chicago Blackhawks on October 10.