And then he vanished. The team wasn't talking about him, the media wasn't talking about him and the only mention of Stone was on the injury list. There was no mention of a second surgery or other, alternatives to surgery, just an entry on the injury list each game.
The latest update came March 6th when Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun wrote:
If you count winger Ryan Stone, who’s been out since Jan. 14 with a sore knee that’s still giving him trouble, it makes six Oilers who are done for the season.
The injury is still being described as a sore knee, with few details as to what's actually going on with Stone's knee condition.
I was pretty sure that something had happened with Stone, whether it was offing him so as to use him as a donor in a back transplant for Nikolai Khabibulin, or he had some complications with his first surgery.
And then from left field comes news on Stone. In the comments of that story comes the first medical update that we've had on Stone in a long time. Copper & Blue member Mike12345 said:
He recently had surgery to further repair his knee, and will be forced to wear a boot for the next 2 months or so. However, all signs point to recovering by the start of training camp.
I did a bit of digging and I was able to confirm the veracity of Mike's claims. Stone needed another surgery on the knee and if everything goes well with his recovery, he should be 100% by training camp.
This does raise the question as to why the Oilers have been so quiet about all of this and why the beat guys haven't asked the question, but openness is not the Edmonton way and strange behaviors are the status quo at Rexall.
Either way, this is welcome news for Oiler fans. Scott and I both picked Stone for the Oilers' version of the Calder, and he's been an effective player in limited minutes during his time in Edmonton. Here's hoping he really is ready to go by training camp.