Friday, September 16, 2011

How Concerned Should Rangers Be About Sauer's Knee?

As the New York Rangers open training camp today with the infamous conditioning testing of coach John Tortorella, Jim Cerny is reporting that Michael Sauer will not be taking part because of the right knee he tweaked this summer.  Cerny follows up that Sauer says he is feeling stronger each day the past week so there is no cause for serious alarm yet, but is there reason for concern over the health of Sauer?

Sauer, 24, came from off the radar last training to become a critical part of the Rangers young defense corps pairing with Ryan McDonagh to give the team a second shutdown defensive pair.  Sauer was rewarded for his excellent play with a two-year deal paying him $1.25 mil a season.

Sauer’s talent has never been in question, but his ability to stay healthy has been what held his career back before last season.  Already in his career he has undergone surgery to the same knee that is bothering him now as long as shoulder and hip injuries.  The 76 games he was able to play last season was his highest career total, with only 2006-07 being the only other season in which he cracked 70 games.

An injury to Sauer or any of the other top four defenders would put some strain on the Rangers as it would require Tim Erixon, Michael Del Zotto and Steve Eminger all to be in the lineup, which while plausible would not be the ideal scenario for the team.