BUFFALO – Corey Tropp, a ferocious third-year winger who became a Sabres regular late last season, will likely miss the rest of the 2012-13 campaign after suffering ligament damage in his right knee.
Tropp told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle he damaged the medial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament Friday late in the Rochester Americans’ 6-5 season-opening AHL win over the Syracuse Crunch.
The MCL can heal through rehabilitation. He’ll eventually need ACL surgery, the paper reported.
“It’s kind of worst-case scenario,” Tropp told the D and C on Monday. “Yeah, it sucks, there’s no easy way to put it.”
Tropp played 34 NHL games last season, compiling three goals, eight points and 20 penalty minutes. He solidified a spot in late February and never gave it up. Prior to the lockout, it was expected Tropp would have the inside track for a roster spot during Sabres training camp.
“It’s tough losing a guy like ‘Tropper’ because of the way he plays,” Amerks coach Ron Rolston told the paper. “He plays hard, gets to the net front, he’s tough to play against down low. I’m sure it’s frustrating for him.”
The 23-year-old scored twice Friday before Syracuse defenseman Radko Gudas checked his leg with about seven minutes left in the third period.
“You hope for the best but you also know your body,” Tropp said. “I knew something didn’t feel right.”
The Sabres selected Tropp 89th overall in 2007. He played three seasons at Michigan State University before joining the Sabres’ AHL affiliate in Portland for the 2010-11 season. He made his NHL debut Nov. 4, becoming the first forward summoned from Rochester.