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Subban’s mysterious upper-body injury continuing to keep him out of lineup

Predators GM David Poile said the plan was for P.K. Subban to meet with doctors as he continued to be sidelined with an unspecified upper-body injury. He has missed five games and 10 days of action.

P.K. Subban has been day-to-day for more than 10 days now, and concern is starting to arise about when the Nashville Predators star defender will be able to get back into the lineup.

Subban, who missed the four games prior to the holiday break and was out of Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild, has missed the five contests with a reported upper-body injury, but the specifics of the injury have been kept under wraps by the Predators during his absence. And though he’s going on two weeks on the sideline — and chances are he’ll be out through the week — GM David Poile wouldn’t say what exactly is ailing Subban.

Appearing on Nashville’s 102.5 The Game, Poile did, however, admit that the plan was for Subban, 27, to get back on the ice ahead of Tuesday’s outing, and when that didn’t happen, the plan going forward was for Subban and the team to sit down with doctors and further understand what is ailing the all-star calibre rearguard.

"We all thought that there was a good chance that he would skate today with the idea of maybe playing later this week, but that didn't happen," Poile told 102.5 The Game. "We're going to have a little meeting tonight with P.K. and the doctors just to see where we are.”

That Subban wasn’t fit enough to skate after having three days away from the rink is certainly cause for concern, and, as The Tennessean’s Adam Vingan pointed out, it doesn’t help that there was a report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman last week about a rumor floating around the league that Subban was dealing with a herniated disc.

If that is, indeed, what Subban is suffering from, it could be catastrophic for his season and a major blow to the Predators’ blueline moving forward. One of the most notable cases of a player suffering a herniated disc in recent memory came when then-Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza suffered the injury early in the 2012-13 campaign. He was forced to miss all but five games during the lockout shortened season.

Despite the report, though, Poile said the reason for keeping Subban’s injury under wraps was one of protection when Subban does return to action.

"I say almost every team just announces their injuries as either an upper- or lower-body injury,” Poile told 102.5 The Game. “That's because when a player comes back, he's not always 100 percent, and if you knew exactly what was wrong with the player, a player on another team might go after that body part to see if they could reinjure it. It's not nice to say, but that's usually what happens.”

Regardless of what the injury is, though, Subban’s health has unexpectedly become one of the biggest issues in Nashville right now. Before falling injured, he was averaging more than 25 minutes of ice time per game, had contributed seven goals and 17 points in 29 games and was on pace for a 20-goal, 50-point campaign.

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