Predators’ Johansen to miss 12 weeks after emergency leg surgery

Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen looks to pass the puck during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Zaleski/AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen will miss the rest of the regular season after having surgery on his lower right leg.

The Predators announced Thursday that Johansen will miss an “estimated 12 weeks” after surgery Wednesday afternoon.

Nashville would have to make the playoffs for Johansen to have a chance to return this season. The Predators wrap up the regular season April 14 in hosting Colorado, and they go into Thursday night’s game at San Jose seven points out of the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

Johansen left the ice late in the second period of Tuesday night’s 5-4 shootout win over Vancouver after Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes’ skate caught the back of his right ankle. Johansen left the arena on crutches and kept his foot off the ground despite wearing a walking boot for protection.

The 6-foot-3 center ranks fifth on the Predators with 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points playing in their first 55 games. That’s a big drop from last season when he finished with 63 points, tied for the third-most points in his career.

Johansen thanked doctors on social media Thursday and everyone who has reached out to him.

“We’re in a dogfight to find our way into the playoffs and it’s going to suck not being out there with my brothers but y’all fans inspire us everyday and our group is gonna need you for this push,” Johansen wrote.

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