As just reported ono @NBCSN, Dustin Byfuglien recently underwent ankle surgery to take care of unresolved issues from the high-ankle sprain he suffered late last season. What that means for his future and whether it could, in time, lead to his return to WPG remains to be seen.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 31, 2019
Dustin Byfuglien Undergoes Surgery
Before training camp, the Jets defenceman asked for and was granted a personal leave of absence. When training camp opened and Byfuglien did not report, the team suspended him without pay. There had been reports that Byfuglien was considering retirement. Even with this news, McKenzie reports Byfuglien might not play at all this season.
It appears that one of the reasons why Byfuglien did not want to play this season was to fix his ankle. However, the question remains as to why Byfuglien didn’t at least report to training camp so he could get put on injured reserve and at least get paid?
The Jets defenceman has two-years remaining on his contract with the Jets. Byfuglien’s contract carries a salary-cap hit of $7.6 million. If he did decide to return this season, the Jets would be on the hook for his salary. In 869 games, Byfuglien has racked up 525 points (177 goals and 348 assists) along with 1,094 penalty minutes.
With recovery expected to take until at least the New Year, Byfuglien is the only one who can decide his future. Things get a little murky with his contract too. Byfuglien can make an argument that he deserves to be paid while recovering from his injury.
There is a chance he can return this season for the Jets, however, it all depends on how he feels. Interestingly, it took this long for Byfuglien to decide to have surgery on his ankle. If this was such a bother for him, why not have surgery in the off-season? Many questions surround Byfuglien. He has yet to help clear up any of these questions, remaining the dark to the league.
The Jets defence has been holding up despite all their injuries, but inserting Byfuglien into the lineup would help their chances for the playoffs.