Kris Letang injury: Penguins defenseman placed on injured reserve

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kris Letang has been placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

The injury bug has devastated the Pittsburgh Penguins blue line, as Kris Letang is the latest Penguins defenseman to go down with an ailment. The club announced on Monday morning that Letang has been placed on injured reserve after sustaining an upper-body injury against the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Letang was unavailable against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night and will miss at least one week while recovering on injured reserve. Letang missed the first nine games of the season due to an unidentified lower-body injury at the start of the year and has missed 10 games in total.

With Letang out, the Penguins are now without their top-four defenders, as Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin and Rob Scuderi are all out of the lineup due to injury. Orpik is still recovering from a concussion sustained after the incident with Shawn Thornton, while Martin is out with a fractured tibia.

Scuderi has been out since the end of October with a broken ankle, but was able to participate in practice on Monday morning. However, it remains unclear when he would be able to return to the lineup. Based upon morning skate, this appears to be the defense corps the Penguins will ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, via the Penguins website:

Matt Niskanen - Olli Maatta
Rob Bortuzzo - Brian Dumoulin
Simon Despres - Philip Samuelsson

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