Pastrnak day-to-day after surgery for ‘Popeye Elbow’

The Boston Bruins are already pretty banged up. The news coming out on Saturday isn’t going to make their lives any easier.

From the team:

Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney issued the following update on forward David Pastrnak : “David underwent a successful removal of the olecranon bursa from his right elbow on Friday, December 16 at Newton Wellesley Hospital by Dr. Matthew Leibman. He will likely be unavailable for the games on Sunday and Tuesday. His condition will be re-assessed on a day-to-day basis.”

According to WebMD, ‘olecranon bursa’ is:

Bursitis is an inflammation of small sacs of fluid (bursae) that help joints move smoothly. Olecranon bursitis, which affects the olecranon bursa at the back of the elbow, is sometimes called Popeye elbow. This is because the bump that develops at the back of the elbow looks like the cartoon character Popeye’s elbow. also goes by the name ‘Popeye Elbow’


Here is a picture of Popeye and his elbows.

We imagine the disproportionate size of Popeye’s forearms makes the protrusion from his elbows look much smaller … unless Pastrnak has GIANT forearms now.

This reaction by the body is commonly seen in athletes who play sports with elbow pads on. Just like hockey players.

Pastrnak has been a revelation and then some for the Bruins this season.

The 20-year-old currently sits second behind Sidney Crosby (21) with 19 goals thus far; he’s shooting at a 20.4-percent clip. Patrnak is second on the Bruins in total scoring at 26 points. Brad Marchand leads with team with 27 points, but has played in five more games than Pastrnak.

Bruins teammate David Backes underwent the same procedure earlier in the season.

From Joe Haggerty of

“… Backes, however, theorizes that Pastrnak might be back sooner if his elbow wasn’t in quite the same beaten up shape that his was in when he had the procedure a couple of months ago.

“There’s no question he’s a big part of our offense, and it’s not exactly a fun procedure that he’s going through,” said Backes. “But he’s in the hands of great doctors, and hopefully he’s back even sooner than I was. He’s a young 20-year-old kid that recovers pretty quickly, and with his energy and his drive hopefully in less than a week he’s back on the ice and scoring more goals for us.”

Now more than ever will Patrice Bergeron’s microscopic nine points through 29 games come into focus; especially if this becomes a longer than a two-game absence.

The Bruins week is packed with four games in six nights before the Christmas holiday.

The first game is against Los Angeles on Sunday followed by three games against Eastern Conference teams. Boston sits third in the Atlantic Division (35 points) with Tampa and Florida only two points behind.