With the Ottawa Senators' playoff hopes fading quickly, the team decided on Thursday to shut down star winger Bobby Ryan for the remainder of the season.
According to an official press release on Senators.com, Ryan will undergo sports hernia surgery and won't play another game during the current campaign.
Per Ian Mendes of TSN 1200, Ryan has been dealing with the injury for the past several months:
Senators general manager Bryan Murray confirmed that and said surgery couldn't be delayed any longer.
Bobby has been dealing with the discomfort of this injury since it was sustained in November. Both Bobby and our medical staff were hopeful that we could hold off from having surgery until the completion of the season, but he aggravated the condition last Saturday in Dallas to the point that surgery is now the only option.
Although Ryan leads the Sens with 23 goals, his first season in Ottawa has largely been a disappointment with just 48 points in 70 games. James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail believes the lingering injury may be the reason behind Ryan's struggles:
Despite Ryan's sub-par season, Murray lauded his toughness and determination in playing through the ailment all year long.
Bobby has worked hard to play through this injury to help his team and his teammates, and had yet to miss a game this season prior to the injury progressing to this point, so we're obviously disappointed that we won't have him available to us for the rest of the season. We're confident that he'll recover in time to have a full summer of training that will allow him to be back in our lineup and help this team be successful next season.
The Senators currently trail the Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs by eight points in the race for the Eastern Conference's final two playoff spots.
Challenging for one of those positions was unlikely regardless of Ryan's health with just 10 games remaining, but Ryan's absence essentially puts an end to Ottawa's season.
With little left to play for, having Ryan get the much-needed surgery is the best move for all parties involved since he can now focus on recovering and getting ready for 2014-15.
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