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Thomas Vanek Injury: Winger leaves ice in Columbus after first shift, 'upper body' injury

After an innocuous-looking tumble near the Columbus net on the first shift, the winger did not return to the game.

Please be OK, please be OK, please be OK...
Please be OK, please be OK, please be OK...
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Not what the New York Islanders needed in their gamble to upgrade their first line: An injury to Thomas Vanek, the man for whom they traded Matt Moulson and two draft picks to the Buffalo Sabres late last month.

Vanek headed to the locker room during Saturday night's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets after one 23-second shift. He fell over Sergei Bobrovsky on a rush toward the net, but it was unclear what kind of injury (if it was an injury) might have caused him to leave the game.

With Vanek out, the Islanders were using a mix of Josh Bailey and Pierre-Marc Bouchard in his spot on left wing with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.

No official word or prognosis just yet from the team. The Blue Jackets broadcast described the Isles as "tight-lipped" (you don't say?) on Vanek after they and the Islanders' MSG broadcasters had inquired multiple times for an update. It may be unclear to even the staff at this point.

Regardless, we'll update this when something official is passed along.

UPDATE: And here it is:

Here's footage of the moment where Vanek (#26, starting from the lower left of the picture and to Bobrovsky's right) collided with Bobrovsky, got up, and headed to the bench. If it's at that moment, it's hard to see what might be wrong:

(Click to enlarge. Your results may vary.)

Vanek-injury_medium also has the same video angle here.

For now, hold your breath.

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