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Martin Pospisil expected to miss four to six weeks with torn MCL and MPFL

Calgary Flames prospect Martin Pospisil is expected to miss the next four to six weeks of action as he recovers from a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL) and medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) in his left knee.

Pospisil will not require knee surgery as a result of the injury, FlamesNation has learned.

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The 21-year-old forward, who is currently in his second season with the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League, suffered the injury in the first period of Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Laval Rocket.

Three minutes and six seconds into the first period, Laval forward Yannick Veilleux delivered a knee-on-knee hit on Pospisil in Stockton’s defensive zone. Pospisil remained down on the ice for over a minute before being helped to the Heat bench without putting any pressure on his left leg.

This injury is the second notable setback in as many seasons for the rugged Slovak centre.

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Pospisil missed nearly three months of action in 2019-20, his rookie AHL campaign, after being concussed in a fight with the late Bakersfield Condors forward Colby Cave on Oct. 19, 2019. Pospisil eventually returned to Stockton’s lineup on Jan. 11, 2020, and played an additional 20 games to round out his first professional season.

After starting his season with 22 games playing for Kosice HC of the Slovak Extraliga, Pospisil returned to the AHL when the Heat season began in Calgary. He initially centred the club’s third line with Justin Kirkland and Eetu Tuulola while carving out a niche standing in front of the net on the power play.

Through Stockton’s first 14 games, Pospisil recorded five goals and 11 points. He currently sits in a tie with Luke Philp for fourth in team scoring.

Darren Haynes, of The Athletic and The Canadian Press, reported Sunday the AHL will be reviewing Veilleux’s hit on Pospisil. Veilleux was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct on the play. (UPDATE: Veilleux has been suspended for four games).

The 28-year-old forward has already been suspended once this season. Sunday’s game was Veilleux’s first back in the Rocket lineup after he served a two-game ban for directing an obscene gesture towards the Toronto Marlies’ bench on Mar. 14.

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Unrelated to his knee injury, Pospisil will undergo a shoulder operation on Thursday to help address a “problem arm.” Slovak journalist Tomas Prokop first reported the news of Pospisil’s shoulder surgery on Sunday; it was confirmed to FlamesNation on Monday evening.

The Heat will return to action—without Pospisil—on Tuesday. Having lost four consecutive contests, Stockton will close out a four-game series against Laval with the aim of ending its penultimate homestand of the season on a high note.