BUFFALO – If Patrick Kaleta keeps progressing, the Sabres winger will likely miss three more games and return from his knee injury next Thursday against Arizona.
“It’s just how it reacts to battle drills and divots and all that sort of stuff,” Kaleta said Thursday after his first full practice. “I have more mobility in my knee now, so it’s building up the strength and getting the movements down. Once you start doing things that you’re not used to doing, it gets a little bit swollen and sore. So I just got to keep an eye on that.”
Kaleta has missed 15 games. The Angola native had a bone chip removed last month.
Some other injury updates:
– Sabres coach Ted Nolan said defenseman Zach Bogosian (groin, three games) will miss tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils inside the First Niagara Center. Nolan, who said Bogosian was “two-days-to-two-days,” could play Saturday in Nashville. Bogosian didn’t practice Thursday.
Defenseman Andrej Meszaros (hand, two games) practiced Thursday. Nolan said the Sabres could keep defenseman Chad Ruhwedel up as a spare.
The Sabres, who are 1-5-2 in their last eight games, have been playing opponents tough despite a patchwork lineup. Before Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout win in Boston, they lost a 4-3 shootout to Washington and dropped a tight 2-0 game to the New York Rangers.
Nolan expects more fire down the stretch.
“If you’re any kind of competitive soul or competitive spirit, if you don’t get up for any kind of competition, you’re in the wrong line of business,” he said. “Do something else. This line of business you have to be competitive. Sometimes when you don’t do it, that’s when your stomach turns at nighttime wondering why. I’m not surprised with this group. We’re going to stay as competitive as long as we can.”
Sabres prospect Mark Pysyk, who was briefly hospitalized Feb. 28 after collapsing during a pickup basketball game in Rochester, was scheduled to see a doctor Thursday afternoon in Buffalo, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.
Pysyk had planned to play with the Americans this weekend, his first game action since the incident.
The 24-year-old hasn’t been feeling well following full practices this week, Amerks coach Chadd Cassidy told the paper.
“We don’t know if he’s just sick or if it’s something else,” Cassidy said. “But in his situation, with the way things happened, we want to be 100 percent sure that he’s OK.”
New Jersey plans to start backup goalie Keith Kinkaid tonight. Kinkaid has a 2.56 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in 14 outings this season.