Report: Carey Price could miss the rest of the regular season

Carey Price hasn’t played since Nov. 27 and, according to a report, the Canadiens might not be expecting him back for the rest of the regular season. Price, 28, is apparently battling an MCL injury in his right knee.

Canadiens netminder Carey Price has been out of the lineup since Nov. 27, but he doesn’t appear any closer to returning. The 28-year-old netminder has been working to get back since mid-January and has been participating in light skates while recovering from an undisclosed lower-body injury.

However, according to La Presse’s Richard Labbe, fans in Montreal shouldn’t be counting on Price to return any time soon — or at all during the regular season. Labbe reported Friday morning that the Canadiens are no longer expecting Price to return to the ice before the regular season concludes, meaning if Montreal is to make the post-season, they’re going to have to do so without their all-world netminder.

While the specifics of Price’s injury have never been revealed, Labbe reported Price is battling through an MCL injury in his right knee. Price hasn’t gone under the knife to repair the injury, but Labbe added that surgery has only been ruled out “for now at least.”

“[H]is condition does not allow him to don his goalie equipment and move to the next step, and it also remains unable to move on to more demanding exercises and movements in the fitness program,” Labbe wrote.

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Before falling injured, Price had a 10-2-0 record, 2.06 goals-against average and .934 save percentage, and the Canadiens were atop the Atlantic Division. In Price’s absence, the Canadiens have turned to Mike Condon and Ben Scrivens between the pipes, but neither have been able to shoulder the load and get Montreal back on track.

If Price were to return, the likeliest scenario would be that he gets back in time for the playoffs. Whether that means just before the playoffs begin, during the opening round or only if the Canadiens advance is unclear, but his return to help with the bulk of the post-season push seems unlikely, according to Labbe’s report. Montreal currently sits three points out of a playoff spot.

According to Labbe, however, Price has told those close to him of his intention to play at the World Cup of Hockey. Price, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner and league MVP, would almost certainly be the starting netminder for Canada at the tournament were he healthy enough to play.