Saturday, February 23, 2013
Lombardi's status (update)
By Luke Lapinski
UPDATE: According to Dave Vest, the Phoenix Coyotes are expecting center Matthew Lombardi to return to the lineup on their current road trip -- maybe even as early as Saturday's tilt with the Edmonton Oilers.
Unfortunately for both Matthew Lombardi and the Phoenix Coyotes, it appears the speedy forward will be out for the foreseeable future. He dealt with concussion issues that derailed his 2010-11 campaign and, while this isn't related to that, it's still substantial enough to sideline him for awhile. In fact, he's likely gone for at least a month, according to Dave Tippett.
The Coyotes have been hit by the injury bug a few times already this season and, while losing Lombardi may not seem like as big of a deal as losing someone as pivotal as Mike Smith for a few games, it still hurts. With Lombardi solidifying a spot up the middle, the players around him were able to fall into more comfortable roles. On top of that, he enjoyed the best season of his career when he put up 53 points in the desert back in 2009-10. He's close with a lot of the vets on the team, is well liked in the locker room and was already finding ways to contribute again, chipping in two helpers over his first four contests since returning to the club earlier this month.