Doctors in New York City will attempt to restore the vision in Manny Malhotra’s left eye on Tuesday.
The Vancouver Canucks forward is scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure less than two weeks after taking a puck to the eye. The NHL team has been mum on the specific nature of the injury and made no announcement, but NBA star Steve Nash sent an update about Malhotra’s condition to his Twitter feed on Monday afternoon.
“I need my brother in law, Manny Malhotra of the Vancouver Canucks, to have a successful eye surgery tomorrow saving his eye and vision,” Nash wrote.
Malhotra is married to Nash’s sister Joann.
Agent Paul Krepelka, who works for the Orr Hockey Group, confirmed that the surgery would take place in New York on Tuesday but declined further comment. A Canucks spokesman said Monday the team had no further update on Malhotra.
Nash has been the primary source of information about the injury, telling reporters during the Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer game on March 19 that there was concern about “possibly permanent vision” damage.
“I know he’s a very tough guy and a great person but we’re all just thinking about him and really worried and hoping he can come back, not only to play hockey but just get his vision back and be comfortable and live the life he deserves to live,” Nash said.
The 30-year-old Malhotra was injured on March 16 when a pass deflected off the stick of Colorado defenceman Erik Johnson into his left eye. He does not wear a visor.
Malhotra underwent surgery immediately after suffering the injury and the Canucks announced on March 21 that he was lost for the season.
“Following an initial procedure and continued treatment it has been determined through consultation with team doctors and specialists that Manny Malhotra will not return to the Canucks lineup for the remainder of this regular season and playoffs,” the team’s statement said.
Wearing a large white bandage over his face, Malhotra visited with teammates before practice a little over a week ago. The NHL’s top team then set off for a four-game road trip, which wraps up Tuesday night in Nashville.
Malhotra signed a US$7.5-million, three-year contract as a free agent last summer and was second in the NHL with a 61.7 per cent faceoff win percentage when he was injured. He had 11 goals and 30 points in 72 games.
A native of Mississauga, Ont., Malhotra has appeared in 777 career NHL games. He also represented Canada at two world junior championships and the 2002 IIHF World Hockey Championship.