Before the 2015-16 season has even started, one of the Pittsburgh Penguins familiar demons has already reared its head. Winger Pascal Dupuis is expected to miss the first four-to-five weeks of the season with a lower body injury, the team said on Tuesday.
Dupuis, 36, missed nearly all but 16 games of the 2014-15 season after a blood clot in his leg moved into his lung. Since then, Dupuis has been on blood thinners to reduce the risk of a reoccurrence and has established a strict protocol for his practice regimen, game play and treatment.
This injury is not believed another blood clot, but could be related to the fact that Dupuis has missed almost two years with injuries. Before the blood clot, he missed the second half of the 2013-14 season with a knee injury.
With Dupuis out of practice on Monday, head coach Mike Johnston lined up David Perron and Beau Bennett with Nick Bonino on the third line and Bobby Farnham and rookie Daniel Sprong on the fourth line.
A four-week return would mean that Dupuis would miss 11 games. If he misses closer to five weeks, he would be out an additional three games.
Sprong, who is only 18 and was the team’s second-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft, will be making his NHL debut when the team opens its regular season in Dallas on Thursday night.
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