Kyle Connor headed back to Winnipeg for further evaluation

Winnipeg Jets star forward Kyle Connor will miss the next two games and likely longer, but head coach Rick Bowness wasn’t ready to put a timeline on his recovery just yet.

Connor was injured by a knee-on-knee hit from Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Strome in the second period of Sunday’s victory. He immediately clutched his right knee in pain and needed help to get off the ice.

Connor underwent an MRI on Monday and still needs to be re-evaluated by team doctors.

“Kyle is heading back to Winnipeg,” Bowness said after the game-day skate ahead of their contest against the San Jose Sharks later on Tuesday. “He’ll be re-evaluated by our doctors tonight when he gets in and we’ll go from there.

“But as now, obviously he’s not playing tonight or tomorrow and we’ll know more tonight once our doctors have the chance to examine him themselves.”

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Bowness said they wouldn’t put a timeframe on the injury until they hear from their own doctors.

Two days after the injury, Bowness’ feelings on the play still haven’t changed. Strome was ejected from the game for kneeing but didn’t receive any supplemental discipline from the NHL with no suspension coming. But Bowness feels Strome should have had to miss some time.

“I respectfully disagree with the league,” Bowness said. “I still think it’s a suspendable offence and I felt it then. I’ve looked at it a number of times and I still feel that way. So, respectfully disagree with the league’s decision.”

Connor is currently fifth in the NHL in goals with 17 markers in the first 26 games.

Gabriel Vilardi is expected to take his place on the top line alongside Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers when they face the Sharks on Tuesday night.

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Winnipeg Jets visit Rehab Centre for Children

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