Rangers Injury Tracker: Blake Wheeler out for remainder of regular season

Here are the latest news and possible return dates for Rangers players…

Feb. 16, 3:34 p.m.

The Rangers are placing Blake Wheeler on Long Term Injury on Friday and the winger will be out for the remainder of the regular season, according to multiple reports.

There is the possibility the 37-year-old, who sustained a lower-body injury during Thursday’s win over the Montreal Canadiens, could return for Stanley Cup playoffs, which begin on April 22.

Wheeler, playing in his 16th NHL season and first in New York, had tallied 23 points (nine goals and 12 assists) in 54 games for the Blueshirts with a plus-minus of plus-2. He averaged 12:43 time on the ice per game.

Feb. 15, 7:51 p.m.

Veteran winger Blake Wheeler had to leave the ice in Thursday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens after injuring his right leg in the first period. The team called it a lower-body injury and Wheeler did not return to the game.

The 37-year-old was fighting for the puck along the boards and fell backward after being shoved, with his right leg getting caught underneath him during the fall.

On his knees in obvious pain, Wheeler tried to get back up but immediately went back down. The trainer went to check on him before he and a teammate helped Wheeler up as he could only use one leg. He was helped off the ice before needing a stretcher to exit into the locker room.

Jan 26, 11:15 p.m. 

Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette confirmed after the game that Filip Chytil suffered a setback related to his current injury but did not provide any further details other than he is at home and will be re-evaluated. 

Defenseman Ryan Lindgren left Friday’s loss in the first period after taking a hit and did not return to the game. Laviolette categorized it as an “upper body” injury and that he was being evaluated.

Jan. 26,  2:48 p.m.

Filip Chytil, who needed help off the ice after being down for several minutes at the Rangers’ skate on Friday morning, suffered a setback related to his current injury, according to a report from Arthur Staple of The Athletic.

The 24-year-old was only on the ice with Zac Jones and Jake Leschyshyn at the time he went down and required their assistance in getting off.

Chytil only returned to practice this week after sustaining an apparent concussion on Nov. 2 that forced him out of action.

He will continue to be evaluated and is back at his New York home.

Jan. 26, 11:29 a.m.

Filip Chytil was helped off the ice after being down for several minutes at the Rangers’ optional morning skate, according to reporters in attendance. 

The forward is being evaluated.

Chytil returned to the ice with his teammates on Thursday morning wearing a red, non-contact jersey and was seen skating on his own and going through reps a safe distance away from the other skaters.

This week marked the first time Chytil practiced with the club since he returned from rehab overseas after he sustained a head injury from a hit in November.

Jan. 25, 11:18 a.m.

Filip Chytil returned to the ice with his teammates Thursday morning.

Wearing a red, non-contact jersey Chytil was seen skating on his own and going through reps a safe distance away from the other skaters. This is the first time Chytil practiced with the Rangers since he returned from rehab in his home country of Czechia after a head injury suffered in November.

“It’s day one, and so he’s starting up the process of working up to speed,” head coach Peter Laviolette said after practice. “It was good to have him out there, but there’s no timeframe.”

In 10 games played this season, the 24-year-old has zero goals but six assists.

Jan. 22, 4:58 p.m.

Filip Chytil’s strength and conditioning coach gave a promising update for the Rangers center.

It’s been well documented that Chytil went back to his home country of Czechia to continue his rehab process from a head injury. According to the coach, Chytil has made “good progress” over the last few weeks.

Chytil’s coach believes he’ll be back soon and “stronger than before.”

According to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, Chytil is en route back to New York but there is no timetable for his return to the lineup.

Chytil last played on Nov. 2.

Jan. 17, 8:35 a.m.

Filip Chytil, who went to his native Czechia late last month to continue working his way back from an upper-body injury, was on the ice practicing on Tuesday.

Chytil posted a picture to Instagram of him in his Rangers practice gear, next to former Ranger Jaromir Jagr.

Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette said on Dec. 30 that the team was hopeful Chytil would return this season

“Fil is progressing slowly, this is an opportunity for him to head home, reset, continue to move forward,” Laviolette told reporters. “When he comes back, we’ll welcome him back with open arms. I think just from the progression standpoint and things not moving quick it was just a different avenue to try to push things along.”

Chytil last played on Nov. 2.

Jan. 14, 10:55 a.m.

Before the Rangers take on the Washington Capitals, coach Peter Laviolette confirmed that Kaapo Kakko will return to the ice on Sunday.

“He’s looked good in practice. He’s healthy, he’s cleared. He’s been with us for a while. It’s nice to have him back,” Laviolette said. “In practice, it looks like he’s skating well, he’s protecting pucks. It’s his first game back after being off for a little but but I’m sure he’s excited to get back in there and play.”

Laviolette says he can’t say what his expectations are for Kakko but is glad to have him back.

Jan. 13, 12:57 p.m.

Mika Zibanejad is listed as active for Saturday’s game on the road vs. the Washington Capitals, per USA Today’s Vince Mercogliano.

Zibanejad was previously listed as a game-time decision due to an illness that kept him off the ice Thursday against the St. Louis Blues.

Additionally, Zac Jones, Jake Leschyshyn and Tyler Pitlick were all scratched for Saturday’s matchup, while Anton Blidh, who was recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack, is in the lineup.

Jan. 13, 11:43 a.m.

Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette told reporters during pregame that Mika Zibanejad is a game-time decision for Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals.

Zibanejad missed Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Blues due to a lingering illness. Over 39 games this season, the center has tallied 39 points with 14 goals and 25 assists. He last played on Jan. 8.

Additionally, Laviolette said Kaapo Kakko will remain out of the lineup Saturday. Kakko has been out since Nov. 27 when he suffered a lower-body injury against the Buffalo Sabres. The 22-year-old practiced fully on Wednesday after returning to the ice last week while wearing a non-contact jersey.

USA Today’s Vince Mercogliano noted that Sunday’s game vs. the Capitals is a possibility for Kakko to return, but a safer bet is him playing this coming week, potentially on Tuesday at home against the Seattle Kraken.

Jan. 11, 11:30 p.m.

Rangers center Mika Zibanejad was a late scratch for Thursday night’s game against the St. Louis Blues due to a lingering illness, head coach Peter Laviolette told reporters postgame.

The star center, who also missed Wednesday’s practice, participated in pregame warmups but was not seen taking line rushes before he left for the locker room.

“Morning skate he was good, just took a turn for the worse come game time,” Laviolette said. “He was out for warmups and we were thinking it was good. He’ll get some rest and he’ll be back.”

With Zibanejad out of the lineup, defenseman Zac Jones dressed and NY played a forward down in what ended up being a 5-2 loss to the Blues.

Jan. 10, 11:31 a.m.

Winger Kaapo Kakko, who has been out since suffering a lower-body injury against the Sabres on Nov. 27, was a full go at practice on Wednesday.

He returned to practice last week and had been skating in a non-contact jersey.

Head coach Peter Laviolette said after Monday’s skate that Kakko had “no real restrictions” and was close to “changing jersey colors.”

Dec. 30, 4:45 p.m.

Prior to Saturday’s game against the Lightning, Rangers coach Peter Laviolette gave updates to a couple of players including Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko.

Chytil was reported to have returned to his home country of Czechia as he continued his rehab from an upper-body injury. Laviolette confirmed those reports on Saturday.

Fil is progressing slowly. It’s an opportunity for him to head home, reset and continue to move forward,” he said. “And when he comes back, we’ll welcome him back with open arms. From a progression standpoint things not moving quickly, it’s just a different avenue to try and push things along.”

When the question of whether Chytil will return this season, the first-year Ranger coach remained optimistic.

“I think we’re more hopeful that he will be back,” he said. “We’re just trying a different approach, a different avenue. This is more of a reset to go home and take a different look at it.”

As for Kaapo (lower-body), Laviolette said he’s back on the ice but has not practiced with the team yet and did not make the trip to Tampa.

Dec. 28, 12:10 p.m.

Good news for defenseman Jacob Trouba, who left Wednesday’s 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals with an upper-body injury in the second period, as he was seen on the ice at Thursday’s practice.

“All good. Played it safe,” he said after the morning session. “[Possible concussion] is not something to mess with, feel good in the morning, feel good skating, it’s all good.

“Don’t know how much [the team] want me to talk about it. For me, I don’t feel like I can go play if I’m worried I’m going to get hit.”

Trouba’s next chance to play will come on Friday when the Rangers visit the Florida Panthers with puck drop at 7 p.m.

Dec. 27, 8:58 p.m.

Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba left New York’s game against the Washington Capitals with an upper-body injury and did not return.

Trouba last played the second period’s first shift on the penalty kill.

Through 32 games this season, Trouba has 13 points on two goals and 11 assists.

Dec. 22, 11:29 a.m.

Winger Kappo Kakko, who has been out since suffering a lower-body injury against the Sabres on Nov. 27, recently started skating on his own, head coach Peter Laviolette told reporters on Friday.

Laviolette estimated that Kakko, who was placed on LTIR on Nov. 28, has been on the ice three or four times.

The expectation after Kakko’s injury was that he would miss significant time, so the lengthy absence to this point is not a surprise.

In addition to Kakko, the Rangers remain without Filip Chytil, whose timeline for a return is unclear.

Dec. 16, 5:00 p.m.

K’Andre Miller will be back in the Rangers’ lineup for Saturday night’s game against the Boston Bruins, head coach Peter Laviolette announced.

Miller has been back around the team, but he’s missed each of the past two games due to unknown personal issues.

The 23-year-old has been enjoying a tremendous season thus far, sitting second on the team in ice time (22:11) and tallying eight points (a goal, seven assists) over his last eight contests.

Dec. 14, 5:00 p.m.

Defenseman K’Andre Miller was spotted back on the ice at Rangers practice on Thursday morning.

Miller missed Tuesday’s game, a disappointing 7-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and yesterday’s practice due to unknown personal reasons.

The 23-year-old preferred not to go into detail, but he told reporters following Thursday’s practice that it’s nice to be back out there with the team.

“I’m doing better,” he said. “I’m in a better headspace and I’m happy to be back with the guys and back on the ice.”

It’s unclear if Miller will be back in the lineup for Friday’s matchup with the Ducks.

Dec. 8, 11:31 a.m.

Chris Kreider was back at Rangers practice on Friday a day after he was off the ice due to a lower-body injury, per Mollie Walker of The New York Post.

Barclay Goodrow, who missed practice on Thursday, was not on the ice on Friday. He has been considered day-to-day.

Goodrow took a puck to the face on Dec. 5 against the Senators and did not return.

Dec. 5, 8:05 p.m.

Barclay Goodrow has been ruled out for the remainder of Tuesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators after taking a puck to the face late in the first period.

The scrappy center went down after a K’Andre Miller shot attempt was deflected up high.

Goodrow remained down on the ice for a few moments, but quickly made his way to the Rangers bench and down the tunnel alongside trainers.

He was quickly ruled done for the night at the beginning of the second period.

Nov. 28, 12:30 p.m.

The Rangers have some good news on the injury front and some bad news, according to Mollie Walker of the New York Post.

Adam Fox, who was a full-go at Monday’s practice, is expected to be activated and available when first eligible for Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.

The star defenseman has been out since the beginning of November with a lower-body injury, but the Rangers have been able to stay red-hot without him.

Filip Chytil, on the other hand, has been moved to long-term IR (retroactive to Nov. 3) as he continues to work his way back from an upper-body injury suffered in the same game as Fox.

The young center continues to progress, most recently resuming skating on his own, and the move is more for cap/roster-related issues, according to Walker.

Additionally, winger Kappo Kakko is also headed to LTIR after leaving Monday’s game against the Sabres due to a lower-body injury.

The 22-year-old was hit by Buffalo’s Erik Johnson behind the net when his left leg slipped behind him and awkwardly twisted into the boards as he fell back on it.

Kakko is expected to miss significant time due to the knee issue, but according to Walker it is not seen as a season-ending injury.

Nov. 27, 8:31 p.m.

Kaapo Kakko left Monday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres in the second period after awkwardly twisting his left leg.

Kakko was hit by the Sabres’ Erik Johnson behind the Buffalo net when his left leg slipped behind him and twisted into the board as he fell back on it.

The 22-year-old was in obvious pain and was grabbing his left knee. He was helped off the ice and to the locker room without placing any weight on his left leg.

The Rangers ruled Kakko out for the remainder of the game at the start of the third period.

Kakko has two goals and an assist in 19 games played this season.

Nov. 27, 11:21 a.m.

Adam Fox was a full participant in Monday’s morning skate, a great sign for the Blueshirts that the defenseman will be able to return from long-term IR on Wednesday when he is eligible.

Fox has been out since the beginning of November with an upper-body injury, but the Rangers haven’t skipped a beat since, going 7-2 in his absence and sit atop the Metropolitan Division at 15-3-1.

Nov. 24, 10:30 a.m.

In what is a very positive sign for the Rangers, Filip Chytil was back on the ice and has resumed skating for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury.

The 24-year-old center was placed on injured reserve after sustaining the injury on a hit from Carolina Hurricanes winger Jesper Fast back on Nov. 3.

Many expected him to miss about a week or two after being placed on standard injured reserve, but the prolonged absence has been a cause for concern.

Though Chytil still remains without a timeline for a return, the fact that he has been able to get back out on the ice is certainly a positive sign.

Nov. 22, 12:03 p.m.

Adam Fox was on the ice again on Wednesday for the Rangers’ morning skate, albeit with a red non-contact jersey on.

The defenseman continues to work his way back from a lower-body injury sustained on Nov. 3 and Wednesday’s skating session is another step in the right direction for the 25-year-old who has missed six games since getting hurt.

Nov. 19, 4:00 p.m.

Defenseman Adam Fox has been taking steps in the right direction as he works his way back from a lower-body injury suffered roughly two weeks ago in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Though he still has a ways to go to getting back in the starting lineup, the star blueliner has been able to resume skating each of the past two days.

Saturday’s win over the New Jersey Devils marked the fifth straight game that Fox has missed, and the earliest he’s able to be activated from long-term injury reserve is Nov. 29 against the Red Wings.

Nov. 17, 12:22 p.m.

Ryan Lindgren is “feeling 100 percent” after dealing with an upper-body injury, he told reporters on Friday.

He had returned to practice on Wednesday three days after suffering the injury during Sunday’s win over the Blue Jackets.

Head coach Peter Laviolette said after the game that Lindgren was day-to-day.

The scrappy blue-liner remained down on the ice for a few moments after taking a hard hit from forward Sean Kuraly along the boards early in the third period on Sunday.

Lindgren was eventually able to make his way off to the Rangers’ locker room along with trainers and he remained there for the rest of the night.

Nov. 11, 4:57 p.m.

As the Rangers ease Igor Shesterkin back into playing shape, the goalie is progressing towards a return but it may still take some time.

According to USA Today’s Vincent Mercogliano, Shesterkin skated by himself before Saturday’s practice, per Rangers coach Peter Laviolette. Laviolette says that this is part of the plan to ease his goalie back in.

The first-year Rangers coach said he has not made a decision on Sunday’s goalie as of yet.

Shesterkin has missed the last three games, which New York has gone 2-0-1. He is 6-2-0 with a 2.36 GAA and .913 save percentage this season.

Nov. 8, 12:33 p.m.

Igor Shesterkin was a “full go” at practice on Wednesday, head coach Peter Laviolette told reporters.

Laviolette said he wants to see how Shesterkin feels before making a determination about his availability for Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden.

Shesterkin has missed the last two games due to soreness.

Nov. 7, 10:45 a.m.

Igor Shesterkin has been ruled out and will not dress for Tuesday night’s matchup against the Detroit Red Wings.

Shesterkin has been able to skate each of the past two days but doesn’t appear ready to return to game action.

Jonathan Quick will make the start for the second straight contest, with Louis Domingue backing him up, as the starting netminder works his way back from a lower-body injury.

Additionally, Laviolette told reporters that defenseman Adam Fox and center Filip Chytil are also making progress as they work their way back to the ice.

Fox, who is dealing with a lower-body issue, was placed on long-term injured reserve and is not eligible to return to the lineup until Nov. 29.

Chytil was placed on standard IR, so he will be able to return as early as this Sunday against the Blue Jackets, but Laviolette says the duo has not resumed skating just yet.

Nov. 3, 5:30 p.m.

The Rangers will officially be without two of their top players for the foreseeable future.

Star defenseman Adam Fox was placed on long-term IR on Friday after suffering a lower-body injury in the first period of Thursday’s 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The 25-year-old didn’t return to the ice after skating off gingerly following a knee-to-knee open ice collision with Canes forward Sebastian Aho.

The team hasn’t provided any timetable for his return to the lineup, but after being placed on LTIR, he will be out a minimum of 10 games or 24 days.

Filip Chytil likely won’t miss as much time, but he’ll still remain out after being placed on IR. The young center suffered an upper-body injury after a collision of his own with former Ranger Jesper Fast in the first period of Thursday’s game.

Chytil is eligible to return Nov. 12 against Columbus.

In a corresponding roster move, New York has called up winger Jonny Brodzinski and defenseman Connor Mackey from the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack.

Additionally, goalie Igor Shesterkin is a little shaken up after his efforts in Thursday’s win, so backup Jonathan Quick is expected to get the start this weekend in Minnesota.

Louis Domingue has also been recalled from AHL-Hartford as the star netminder isn’t expected to dress.

Nov. 2, 10:00 p.m.

Head coach Peter Laviolette had no further update on star defenseman Adam Fox and center Filip Chytil following the Rangers’ 3-1 win over the Hurricanes.

Both players will be reevaluated Friday before the team leaves for their road game this weekend against the Minnesota Wild.

Fox was ruled out with a lower-body injury after being taken down by Carolina forward Sebastian Aho on a knee-to-knee collision in the first period.

Chytil collided with former Ranger Jesper Fast in the open ice early in the first as well, and he was ruled out in the third period with an upper-body injury.

Nov. 2, 9:00 p.m.

The Rangers will be even more shorthanded for the remainder of Thursday’s game, as C Filip Chytil was ruled out of at the beginning of the third period due to an upper-body injury.

Chytil appeared to suffer the injury during a collision in the first period. He was able to gut it out for a period and a half but left the ice midway through the second.

New York is already playing a man down on the bench with Adam Fox suffering a lower-body injury earlier in the game.

Nov. 2, 8:12 p.m.

Adam Fox has been ruled out for the remainder of Thursday’s game against the Hurricanes due to a lower-body injury after leaving play in the first period.

Fox was taken down on a knee-to-knee collision with Carolina forward Sebastian Aho midway through the opening period. The defenseman argued with refs for a tripping call but did not prevail.

He left the ice under his own power but was visibly shaken up and was not seen on the Rangers’ bench for the remainder of the period. The team quickly ruled his night over at the beginning of the second.

Fox has been a catalyst on the Rangers’ top defensive pairing and power play unit.

Oct. 18, 12:31 p.m.

The Rangers announced that forward Nick Bonino is considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He will not practice on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old hasn’t recorded a point yet in three games this season, but he has blocked eight shots and recorded a hit.

Oct. 14, 11:05 p.m.

After Ryan Lindgren missed Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets with what the team called an upper-body injury, head coach Peter Laviolette was asked about his defenseman.

“He’s upper body, day-to-day and will be re-evaluated when we get home,” he said.

Laviolette was also asked if Lindgren’s absence contributed to the Rangers’ lack of defense on Saturday, the first-year Rangers coach didn’t believe so.

“I liked the lineup dressed tonight,” Laviolette explained. “I don’t think [Lindgren’s injury] had anything to do with the game.”

The Rangers (1-1) will look to get back on track when they host the Arizona Coyotes on Monday, Oct. 16.

Oct. 14, 6:50 p.m.

Just before the Rangers’ second game of the 2023-24 season, the team announced that defenseman Ryan Lindgren will miss the contest with an upper-body injury.

Lindgren practiced Friday and skated Saturday morning so the designation by the Rangers comes as a surprise.

USA Today’s Vince Mercogliano wrote that he spoke with Lindgren and the defenseman said his hand felt fine.

Zac Jones will take Lindgren’s place in the starting lineup.