BUFFALO – It keeps getting worse for Sabres winger Ville Leino.
Leino, who played only eight games last season while battling a hip and lung injury, cracked a rib early in Wednesday’s season-opening 2-1 loss in Detroit and is out indefinitely.
The Finn should only miss a couple of weeks, Sabres coach Ron Rolston said this afternoon following practice inside the First Niagara Center.
Leino stayed in the game, skating 12:38. But Rolston said the rib “seized up” overnight.
With Leino out, center Johan Larsson will make his Sabres debut in Friday’s home opener against Ottawa.
The 21-year-old Larsson pivoted Steve Ott and Tyler Ennis, who had been playing center, today.
“He’s going to get a good opportunity,” Rolston said about Larsson. “I like everything about him, the way he works, his preparation. He’s a good detail player. But this will give him a good opportunity to play with some good players and show us what he can do. Another young guy in the lineup, but I think it’s a good thing because I think he’s ready. Now it’s just gaining those experiences in the league.”
Larsson played one game with Minnesota last season.
Meanwhile, Leino, who underwent offseason hip surgery, spoke optimistically about the upcoming season earlier this week. The 29-year-old joins forwards Joel Armia (broken hand), Marcus Foligno (muscle strain) and Corey Tropp (broken jaw) on the sideline.
Foligno skated in a non-contact role today and could return next week.