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Vladimir Tarasenko shoulder injury: Forward to undergo surgery, miss five months

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This is not a development that the Blues want to have.

Montreal Canadiens v St Louis Blues Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

It didn’t look like much.

Vladimir Tarasenko left the Blues’ victory over the Kings last week early with an “upper-body injury.” Everyone and their mother knew exactly what that meant: he tweaked his shoulder.

It’s such a little thing, such an innocuous play:

Such a big injury.

Tarasenko did not travel with the team to either Boston or Detroit this weekend. He will be travelling to the doctor tomorrow for shoulder surgery instead. He’s going to have surgery on his left shoulder, the one that he’s already had to have surgically repaired summer before last, and rehabbed this past summer.

The Blues announced that he’ll be re-evaluated in five months. Not “back in five months,” but re-evaluated. Five months from now is April-ish. Late April-ish.

Go on and mentally prepare yourself for all of the “getting Tarasenko back in the lineup is like making a trade!” hot takes for the playoffs. For now, this is not a good thing. Line-up shuffles are hard on a team. Just go back and watch the points dip whenever Jaden Schwartz has been injured. Robby Fabbri was inserted into the lineup in Tarasenko’s stead, but there’s no way Fabbri’s average TOI (about 10 or 11 minutes a game) makes up for the loss of Tarasenko. Tarasenko also has three goals and seven assists in ten games played; Fabbri isn’t making up for that, either.

The Blues have missed their superstar more than ten games only once in a season, and that was in 2013-2014. It’s tough when a workhorse forward goes down, like Schwartz or Steen (we haven’t heard an update on that front since Steen left Sunday’s game with an injury).

The loss of Tarasenko for an entire regular season is going to be a test of this team’s will. It’ll also be a test of Klim Kostin’s, because that kid will probably be getting a phone call very, very much sooner than expected.