BUFFALO – After Evander Kane suffered a left MCL injury Oct. 24, the Sabres winger took a positive approach. When doctors told him he would be sidelined four to six weeks, he aimed to return after three and a half weeks.
A year ago with Winnipeg, Kane said he suffered the exact same injury to his right knee and returned in that timeframe.
“I’m a big believer in the mind’s a powerful thing,” Kane said this morning after skating with his teammates inside the First Niagara Center. “If you tell yourself you’re feeling better every day, you’re getting better. The mind can heal as well.”
Barely three weeks after getting injured, Kane is close to playing again. He plans to accompany the Sabres on their two-game road trip later this week and wants to play.
“It was kind of my goal to repeat that same type of recovery process,” Kane said. “It’s looking like I’m going to be able to do that.”
More on Kane later.
The Sabres will get one injured player back tonight against the slick Dallas Stars, defenseman Zach Bogosian, who will make his season debut after suffering a lower-body injury three days into training camp.
Bogosian hasn’t played a game since April 11.
“Obviously, a lot of things factor into that. Conditioning is one, timing is another,” said Bogosian, who will be paired beside Jake McCabe.
Sabres coached Dan Bylsma joked he told Bogosian to “run a few miles this afternoon to tire himself out, because he’s going to be full of piss and vinegar.”
“He’s pretty ramped up to play,” he said. “He’s such a great skater. My worry is more of him being too rambunctious than not being able to keep up.”
To make room for Bogosian, Carlo Colaiacovo will sit.
Kane, meanwhile, could play Thursday in St. Louis or Saturday in Dallas. He started skating again last week.
When New Jersey’s David Schlemko hit him into the boards last month, he knew he was hurt.
“If I stay down, there’s obviously something wrong,” Kane said. “I usually get right back up. It felt very similar to what happened last year. So I kind of knew right away.”
In other lineup news, center Zemgus Girgensons (upper body) will miss tonight’s game. Tim Schaller will move in. Linus Ullmark will start in goal.