By Brad Lee
THIRD UPDATE: Jeremy Rutherford is now saying that it's six to nine months, which obviously means he'll miss the whole season.
SECOND UPDATE: Friend Tim McKernan at InsideSTL.com says a Blues source has told him Erik Johnson has a torn ligament in his right knee and could be out up to three months.
FIRST UPDATE: According to the Post's Jeremy Rutherford, there is some damage to his knee and he will be out for awhile:
It ain't pretty.
Johnson has some damage to the knee, but just how much won't be determined until today. The Blues are 95 percent sure they know what they're looking at, but don't want to confirm it until Johnson gets a second MRI. There is still some gray area in this equation, so while Johnson is expected to miss significant time, there's also a chance that he'll be able to rehab the injury and be back sooner than later.
Well that's no freaking good. We'll have more later. Save yourself the trouble, start drinking now.
The Blues' season surely doesn't ride on the outcome of a single MRI on a 20-year-old, but it kind of feels like it.
For the Blues to compete this season, they need to get better on the power play. They need a better transition game. They need to play smarter in their own end. A healthy Erik Johnson would be a big part of that possible improvement. A defenseman who still can't legally buy beer in St. Louis in his second season won't cure all the team's woes, but it would be nice to watch him continue learning on the job and benefitting from a full NHL season under his belt. That's why this report from Norm Sanders at the Belleville News Democrat is so troubling.
I caught up with Blues President John Davidson on Monday night at Kansas City's sprakling Sprint Center, where the Blues played their preseason opener against the Los Angeles Kings. Davidson said Johnson will seek a second opinion on his injured right knee Tuesday in Cleveland at the office of Dr. Tony Miniacci.
Miniacci of the Cleveland Clinic, who also performed Johnson's shoulder surgery during the offseason, will provide his own diagnosis to go with the one the Blues already have from their own medical staff.
The Blues are expected to make an announcement Tuesday on the status of one of the franchise cornerstones of the future.
"He's going to go up there tomorow," Blues President John Davidson said before the team’s preseason opener. "The swelling has come out of the knee pretty well, which is a good sign. But we want to get a good clear understanding of how the knee is, and then an undertsanding of where we go from there.
"I'm not going to say more now because it just creates speculation."
Second opinion? Not wanting to create speculation? That can't be good. As you know, Johnson got hurt getting out of a golf cart last week. He finished the golf round, but then experienced a lot of swelling. It was that fluid in the knee that clouded the initial MRI and made this second MRI necessary.
We'll update this when we hear from Davidson. Feel free to wring your hands, make your dire predictions and generally bitch about the luck of the franchise in the comments.