(HockeySTL)-- Friday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes dealt the Blues more than just their 12th regulation loss of the season; it also dealt St. Louis an injury to a key player.
Vladimir Sobotka is now out until at least March with an injury to his left leg, the Blues announced on Saturday afternoon. The injury will also keep Sobotka from participating in the 2014 Olympics, which are scheduled to begin later this month.
Head coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters at Saturday’s morning skate that Sobotka was day to day until he underwent further evaluation. The evaluation revealed a problem for the forward. That problem will sideline Sobotka for at least four weeks. The 5-foot-11 forward will be re-evaluated at the end of February to further determine a time frame for his return.
Sobotka sustained the injury late in Friday’s game after he was tripped up by Carolina’s Justin Faulk near the end boards. Sobotka hit the boards awkwardly with his left knee and required help from trainer Ray Barile in order to get off the ice and onto the team’s bench. Sobotka remained on the Blues’ bench until the end of regulation, but had trouble rising and making his way down the tunnel when the game concluded.
Sobotka, who has seven goals, 25 points this season, has dressed in 46 games with the Blues this season. He is a plus-17 on the season, and was selected to join the Czech Republic Olympic hockey team early last month. The Olympic selection was the first of Sobotka’s career.
Ryan Reaves will be inserted into the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Predators, but long-term the Blues may elect to call on help from the American Hockey League.
Dmitrij Jaskin, Adam Cracknell, and Chris Porter are all options for call up, should the Blues choose to go that route. Cracknell was recently sent back to Chicago to make room for Maxim Lapierre's return to the lineup.