The Shea Weber timetable is now officially a mystery.
On Feb. 12, the Montreal Canadiens announced their captain would miss up to six weeks with a left ankle sprain. Less than a week later — five days to be exact — Weber was out skating alongside his normal defensive partner, Ben Chariot, per Sportnet's Eric Engels at the Canadians practice.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) February 17, 2020
Whether he actually suits up on Tuesday in Detroit is still to be determined as head coach Claude Julien told reporters after practice, "It'll be up to him." However, it's an interesting turn of events considering the team released the following statement last Wednesday.
"Shea Weber underwent a re-evaluation of his left ankle by orthopedic specialist, Dr. Robert Anderson today in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This evaluation took place after the swelling in his ankle had decreased. Shea suffered an ankle sprain, and his recovery period is expected to be 4 to 6 weeks. Full recovery is expected."
That announcement came hours after a report from long-time NHL analyst Kick Kypreos that put a dark cloud over Weber's hockey-playing future. Additionally, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Tuesday that he's "hearing the prognosis on Shea Weber’s LBI is not at all encouraging in terms of him playing any time soon ... information from MTL on Weber’s health has been on lockdown."
McKenzie added, "Often times, when a player is sidelined for a week or more without a definitive prognosis/announcement from the club, it’s because the doctors/club/player are weighing the options (rehab vs. surgery etc) or getting additional medical opinions on what can be complicated injuries," in a thread.
In his last outing on Feb. 4 against the New Jersey Devils, Weber blocked a Wayne Simmonds shot late in the third period. He limped immediately after the block but was able to return to the ice for one more shift over the last minute and 11 seconds of regulation. With the score tied 4-4, Weber would not play in the five-minute overtime period; Montreal won in a shootout.
It is unconfirmed that the blocked shot was the cause of the injury, although Julien did confirm that the injury was sustained during the Devils game.
— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) February 6, 2020
Weber has been a leader on the team since joining the Habs in a one-for-one trade for P.K. Subban with the Nashville Predators on June 29, 2016. He was the only player voted to the All-Star Game from Montreal this season, winning the hardest shot skills competition.