(HockeyStL) -- The Blues shared some bad news related to Jordan Leopold’s hand injury after Monday’s practice. The team announced that Leopold would, at best, miss at least two months of play. The reason for the lengthy absence is ligament damage that will have to be repaired with surgery.
Leopold was injured in last Thursday’s game against Calgary and, according to the team he will be undergoing surgery to repair the tendon damage in his right hand later this week.
According to the team’s roster list, Leopold has been placed on the injured reserve list, which allows the Blues a free roster space which will likely be used to call up some defensive depth.
The most likely options for call-up are David Shields, Taylor Chorney, and Cade Fairchild. Fairchild is currently playing in the East Coast Hockey League with the Kalamazoo Kings, while Chorney and Shields are with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves.
Chorney and Fairchild have more National Hockey League experience than the 22-year old Shields, who has none, but Shields has performed better this season.
Chorney got off to a rough start with the Wolves this year, but now has three points in 11 games. Shields has seven points (three goals, four assists) in 13 games this season for the Wolves. If Shields is the Blues’ choice for call-up, it will be his first career taste of NHL action. The Blues would have him go through several practices with the squad before entertaining the idea of playing him.
During Leopold’s absence, Ian Cole will get the bulk of games. Leopold missed last Saturday’s game with his injury, after getting his first two points of the season in the previous game. Cole stepped in for Leopold on Saturday and the Blues held Leopold out of activities until he was evaluated on Monday. The evaluation revealed that surgery was needed to repair the damage.
The team is saying that it will take at least eight weeks for Leopold to recover from the surgery. After those eight weeks, Leopold will be reevaluated. Should the Blues’ estimated timetable be accurate, Leopold would be nearing a comeback towards the beginning of January.
The Blues acquired Leopold from Buffalo near last year’s trade deadline. He was inked to a two-year contract extension this past offseason by the team. Leopold has been okay this season, but nothing spectacular. His injury provides a good opportunity for Cole, who has never proven to the Blues that he is ready to be a consistent player for their team.
Leopold joins forwards Magnus Paajarvi and Brenden Morrow on the Blues’ IR list.