The Lightning will officially be without one of their top blue-liners for the foreseeable future.
Mikhail Sergachev underwent surgery Thursday to stabilize fractures to his left tibia and fibula in his left leg after going down with an injury on hit in Wednesday’s loss to the Rangers, Tampa Bay announced.
The defenseman is expected to return back to Tampa Bay to soon begin his rehab, but it’s unclear what his timeline to return will be.
Sergachev had attempted to hit Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere but then fell as his left leg bent awkwardly.
His teammates quickly called for assistance on the ice, and after being surrounded by players from both teams, Sergachev was stretchered off the ice while holding a towel to his face.
The 25-year-old was making his return to the ice after missing 17 games following an injury to his left foot.
He logged a little over 10 minutes on 14 shifts before he exited the game following the scary injury.
On Thursday morning, Sergachev took to social media to address his injury.
“Oh man, why me? Why now? After all the games missed, coming back and getting injured again, feels unfair, feels terrible,” Sergachev wrote in an Instagram post. “Trying to stay calm and positive, but it’s impossible. After doing everything right I get this. The universe is unpredictable I guess, and has its own plans , but f–k the universe man, I know I’ll come back stronger and I know I’ll play better than before, but it’s tough right now, and it’s gonna be tough tomorrow.
“We all fight our own battles and this is mine. I’ll win, always do. Pain meds are good tho, if I was in the forest by myself I’d be dead, crazy innit?! Wanted to write how I feel here, don’t know why, but just wanted to let people that care about me know! I appreciate all of your messages. Thanks to the medical staff.”
A two-time Stanley Cup winner, Sergachev has been a key piece on the Lightning blue line after he was acquired by the team before the 2017-18 season in a trade with the Canadiens.
He’s recorded 48 goals and 209 assists for Tampa Bay in 271 career regular-season games, adding nine goals and 24 assists in the postseason.
When asked after Wednesday’s game in Sergachev would be lost for the season, head coach Jon Cooper said he was hoping for the best.
“I don’t know,” Cooper said. “Let’s not think that way.”