BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s facial injury isn’t as bad the Sabres originally feared, and the winger could miss as little as a month, coach Ted Nolan said this afternoon.
“It’s still serious,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “It’s not going to be a three-month thing. It’s could be a less-than-month type of thing. So we’re thankful for that.”
Kaleta and forward Johan Larsson were injured early in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout exhibition loss in Toronto. Larsson, Nolan said, is out about 10 days after Petter Granberg elbowed him in the face. Morgan Rielly’s slap shot hit Kaleta in the jaw area.
“Larsson’s is a serious issue, but not as real serious as it could have been,” Nolan said.
Officially, both have upper-body injuries.
“We know what the upper body is,” Nolan said.
Nolan feels badly for the oft-injured Kaleta, a tenacious agitator who’s returning from a torn ACL. Clearly, he would’ve made the Sabres.
“His effort and his commitment and what he did in the offseason to get back to where he is right now is enough for me to see how much character this young man has and how much he really wants to be a Buffalo Sabre,” Nolan said.