Tampa Bay Lightning center Vinny Lecavalier to have minor knee surgery
Lightning center and captain Vinny Lecavalier will have minor arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Tuesday, but is expected to be ready for the start of camp.
“Vinny told me he felt some irritation when he was skating over the summer and it wasn’t going away,’’ Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said Saturday afternoon.
A MRI indicated a small meniscus tear and, rather than wait to see how it goes and perhaps be forced to deal with it during the season, he will have surgery now. Lightning orthopedic surgeon Ira Guttentag will perform the procedure at the Florida Medical Clinic and Lecavalier should be back at full strength in 3-4 weeks, the club said.
“You deal with injuries all the time and the timing of this works out okay,’’ said Yzerman, who added that he’s had the same procedure during his Hall of Fame career. “Assuming they find nothing unexpected, he’ll be completely healed before training camp (on Sept. 17).’’
Both he and the club are counting on that.
Lecavalier, 30, who’s been slowed in recent years by a shoulder and wrist injuries, is looking to rebound after a disappointing season. Not only did his team miss out on the playoffs, but he scored just 24 goals, his fewest since he had 20 during the 2001-02 season. His goal production has, in fact, decreased every year since he scored 52 to win the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2007.
At the end of this season, he insisted that he was still young, strong and more than capable of re-establishing himself as one of the NHL’s elite players. (He did have 46 assists to finish with 70 points, which was third on the team behind Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis.) Yzerman said that Lecavalier is excited about the club’s direction on the ice and off and can “get it back.’’
-- Brian Landman, Times staff writer