Friday night in Chelyabinsk, Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov suffered what appeared to be a nasty knee injury in Traktor’s 2-1 win over Spartak. Kuznetsov, who can be seen writhing in pain for several minutes, was stretchered off the ice and immediately taken to the hospital.
While many news organizations in Russia speculated that the 19-year-old had torn ligaments in his knee, an MRI was conducted and Traktor’s official team website claimed that the test came back negative. It also said that their star player should be good to go for the KHL playoffs, which begin next week.
Now it appears Kuznetsov is seeking a second opinion.
Via Jay Grossman, Kuznetsov’s North American agent:
Kuznetsov on his way to Germany for examination of knee ligaments
— Jay Grossman (@Jay_Grossman) February 25, 2012
This is not the first time Kuznetsov has traveled to Germany to be re-evaluated. After having shoulder surgery botched by Russian doctors in May of 2010, Evgeny traveled to Germany to go under the knife for a second time in the spring of 2011. Before his second operation, he told Sport-Express’s Yuriy Golyshak:
[This shoulder injury] is a mystery for me. I probably wasn’t paying attention as a kid. By the way, the doctors do not like how the surgery turned out. Either it was not completed, or they just made it worse. So, my shoulder is not doing very well.
Many other Russian athletes prefer to travel to Europe for medical care as well. For instance, a few days ago, gold-medal winning figure skater Evgeny Plushenko traveled to Germany to have his knee operated on to repair a torn meniscus. Former Blackhawk, Lightning, and Hershey Bears player Nikita Alekseev (KHL’s Ak Bars) chose to travel to Germany as well for knee surgery last summer. Former Pittsburgh Penguin Konstantin Koltsov (KHL’s Salavat Yulaev) also had knee surgery a year ago in Germany at the Ortema clinic in Munich – the same one Kuzya went to last year for his shoulder.
Additional reporting by Igor Kleyner and Fedor Fedin.