BUFFALO – Right now, Sabres winger Ville Leino has no plans to undergo surgery on the injured right hip that will sideline him a fourth straight game tonight.
Leino enjoyed a strong 20-minute skate this morning inside the First Niagara Center before he began feeling tired and the hip tightened up, he said. Still, that represents progress.
“It feels better,” Leino said this morning. “Today it felt a lot better.”
Surgery, Leino said, could be an option later on. For now, the Finn will continue getting treatment. He had an MRI and looked OK, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.
“There’s no talk of surgery right now,” Ruff said. “Maybe down the road it happens. I don’t know. But right now there’s some other treatment options that are possible.”
Leino added: “Now there’s no reason to do (surgery). We’re working on it. We got a couple things we’re going to try again. Today was positive. I was able to skate for such a long time and no pain.”
Ruff, whose Sabres face the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, said another player underwent Leino’s treatments last season and has “been good ever since.”
The hip began bothering Leino during pre-training camp workouts earlier this month at the Northtown Center.
“After the first day it was a little sore, the next day a little more and then it got worse and worse,” Leino said. “Sometimes it’s tough to tell what it is. Hopefully, we’re getting back here.”
Nonetheless, Leino practiced beside Mikhail Grigorenko and Steve Ott until last Friday, when the hip began bothering him too much.
“Once you get something it’s always going to be bothering you,” Leino said. “You deal with the pain.”
Going down two days before opening day wasn’t easy.
“Everyone’s so excited,” Leino said. “Today I had a huge smile on my face skating out there, having fun. I felt really good. I was in good shape when the season started. I was excited to play hockey and I’m still really excited. It’s frustrating. You want to be out there and play with the guys, especially when the season’s starting.”
Leino had surgery on his left hip, something that had bothered him for around 18 months, following Philadelphia’s 2010 run to the Stanley Cup final. That hip feels fine now.
“This doesn’t feel similar,” Leino said. “That’s the funny part. I mean, it’s always different when you have something going on. But it doesn’t feel the same. But, I mean, who knows what it is?”
CSNPhilly.com first reported Leino’s latest injury.