The St. Louis Blues have confirmed the worst.
According to an official announcement made by the Blues organization on Saturday evening, veteran forward Oskar Sundqvist has suffered a season ending injury. The Blues revealed in their press release that Sundqvist has suffered a torn ACL, which means that there is effectively no hope of him returning at any point during the playoffs as well.
The news is a devastating blow to a Blues team that is currently battling for a playoff spot in the National Hockey League's West division this season, but I suspect that fans will have already prepared themselves given just how bad this injury looked on Friday night.
What makes this injury a particularly difficult one to swallow for the Blues is that this appears to have been largely avoidable. For those of you who missed it, the injury occurred during a match up between the Blues and the San Jose Sharks and took place relatively early on in the game during the first period. It was not a Sharks player that caused the injury however but instead it was teammate Kyle Clifford who took Sundqvist out with a knee to the back of the leg, causing the Blues forward to fall awkwardly and no doubt ripping his knee to shreds in the process.
As you can see in the replay below, Clifford was clearly trying to make a play on the puck and had no intention of injuring his own teammate. Despite that this is a very careless play and I suspect that the Blues aren't going to be thrilled about it.
At the time of the injury Sundqvist was entirely unable to leave the ice under his own power and had to be carried off by several members of the Blues, which was already a pretty good indication that things were not good. There has been no timetable established by the Blues for when they expect Sundqvist to recover, and it may simply be too early to tell at this point.
That being said a torn ACL is always an extremely long term injury and I would not be surprised if this is something that affects him even beyond this current season.
We wish Oskar a full and speedy recovery.