Schiestel to the shelf

Rochester defenseman Drew Schiestel is expected to be out four-six weeks after spraining his left MCL in the Amerks' Saturday night loss to Hamilton.

The 22-year old was playing his first regular season game after blowing out his right knee back in January. Named an AHL All-Star before being shut down, a healthy Schiestel was widely considered the Sabres de facto "#8" defesneman heading into 2011-12.

Schiestel's hometown paper, The Hamilton Spectator, has the details on how it all went down.

After making an innocuous pass, he got bumped near his blue line. Not hammered. Not flattened. Just got involved in one of those thousand-times-a-game collisions.

Problem was, his toe was caught in the kind of malleable ice you get early in the season when temperatures outside are more reminiscent of the middle of summer than the onset of fall and the building isn’t deeply chilled.

“The ice is just so soft, the ruts are unbelievable,” he says. “There’s no way your skate’s coming out of it.”

As he twisted, his knee didn’t. Or maybe it was the other way around. Either way, something bent awkwardly, his kneecap slid out of place and a somewhat familiar pain kicked in.

When he got to the medical room, he sat quietly waiting for some word as the Dogs’ team doctor checked him out. Mainly hoping and praying to not hear the letters ACL.

He didn’t. That’s the good news. That, and the fact that it’s his left knee. The one that wasn’t already repaired once. The bad? It’s a second-degree sprain of the MCL. Even though surgery likely isn’t necessary, he’ll be sidelined for four weeks, maybe six.

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