After missing practice on Friday for an unexpected maintenance day, Steve Mason put concerns over his health to rest with a stellar performance (if you'll pardon the pun) against the Dallas Stars.
Today, however, in the team's first practice after that win, Mason was again absent, and this time the news from the front is a bit more concerning - the goaltender has a case of bronchitis and has apparently been told he should stay away from the team while he recovers. (Mason also is apparently rehabbing a minor groin pull, but again, this does not appear to have been a major issue.)
The team does not have plans to recall a goaltender from Springfield at this point, so it sounds like Mason probably has a fairly mild case of the bug. In fact, if he originally became ill last week, he might be well on his way to recovery, as acute bronchitis, if properly treated, generally lasts around 7-10 days.
If I had to guess, barring a faster than expected recovery, the team will be leaning on Mathieu Garon for tomorrow's game against the LA Kings, with Mason in the backup role, and see how the younger netminder progresses before making the decision on a starter for Friday night's game in Chicago.
Mason has played before when under the weather (he battled with mono for a significant part of the 2008-2009 run), and if he was feeling the effects of the illness on Sunday it didn't appear to seriously impact his game, but with the team in the midst of a critical stretch, there's no reason to push their luck.
We'll have more if the situation changes, particularly if the club does make the decision to call up another goaltender.