According to Josh Yohe of DK Pittsburgh Sports.com The Pittsburgh Penguins are not 100% sure that forward Phil Kessel will be available early on, but Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford reassures fans, it “will be close.”
The hand injury is one that Kessel hid during the Pittsburgh Penguins’ march to the Stanley Cup Final. It may prevent him from joining his teammates for the beginning of this season.
Pittsburgh Penguins Phil Kessel may not be Ready for Start of 2016-17 Season
Kessel hasn’t missed a regular season game since the 2009-10 season and even played with the injury through all 24 Stanley Cup playoff games. He underwent surgery in July, after suffering the injury during the five game 1st round victory over the New York Rangers. He kept scoring, finishing with 10 goals and 22 points in 24 playoff games. Kessel was second in Conn Smythe Trophy voting
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford explained that Kessel’s recovery is going well, and that if he does miss any time, it’ll be brief.
According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Rutherford reiterated “At this point, based on where he’s tracking, yes (Kessel will play game #1). But with surgery like that, you can’t say 100% for sure. Even if it’s not for the start of the season, it wouldn’t be that much time.”
The preseason begins for the Pens on September 27th, and their regular season starts October 13th against the Washington Capitals.