Though the 26-year-old Kreider was already expected to miss a significant stretch, this might push his time table back further, according to medical experts.

Dr. Tony Wanich, assistant clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at Seton Hall, and Dr. Michael Zervos, thoracic surgeon at NYU Langone Health, neither of whom operated on Kreider and have no knowledge of his specific case, said direct recovery from a rib resection does not actually take that long, as the incisions heal pretty quickly.

The impending rehab process, however, could delay Kreider’s eventual comeback.

There are positive bounce-back stories associated with this procedure. Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos had a rib resection in early April 2016 and returned to the ice for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals seven weeks later. Stamko’s teammate, goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, underwent the surgery in September 2015 and was back in less than two months as well.

Both doctors said two-to-three months seemed like a reasonable timetable. Wanich estimated Kreider has a 70 percent chance of returning within two months of the operation, and a 90 percent chance within three months.

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