Update 1:50pm: Traktor’s website says Kuznetsov should only miss a week’s worth of time and will be ready to play in the KHL’s Gagarin Cup playoffs on March 1st.
In the final minutes of Traktor’s 2-1 win over Spartak, Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov was checked by defender Andre Benoit near the corner boards. According to Soviet Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov, Kuznetsov was badly injured on the play. He “fell down, was yelling, slamming hands against the ice, and was in terrible pain.”
The 19-year-old KHL superstar was then stretchered off and taken to a hospital for a MRI.
After the game, Traktor coach Valeri Belousov told the media that Kuznetsov may be done for the year.
Video of the hit that caused Kuzya’s injury can be seen below the jump.
According to his Russian agent, Kuznetsov has only a bruise and will be out three weeks. We should note that Kuznetsov’s agent is not a medical professional and has an obvious financial interest in pending contract negotiations for his client.
An accurate MRI may have to wait a few days, and swelling may complicate matters.
The Washington Times’ Stephen Whyno also reports that Kuznetsov’s North American agent, Jay Grossman, has no details on the extent of the injury yet. “Obviously, looked like a flagrant hit on knee,” Grossman wrote to Whyno. “In lots of pain.”
We’ll continue to update this post as we find out more.
Additional reporting by Fedor Fedin.