Jake McCabe (left) fights Washington’s Tom Wilson on Nov. 8. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres Jake McCabe wanted to address shoulder problem later

BUFFALO – After undergoing thumb surgery earlier this month, Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe planned on returning when he healed.

But with the Sabres far out of the playoff race, general manager Jason Botterill decided McCabe, 24, should undergo surgery to fix a shoulder injury that has been bothering him.

The Sabres announced the decision Tuesday. Four to six months of recovery time accompanies the surgery.

“Speaking with him yesterday, he really wanted to come back and try to fight through this with the team, just shows the character on his part,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. “I think just a decision by Jason to have the surgery right now, moving forward, to get ahead of it so he’s ready for training camp.”

Housley said the shoulder has bothered McCabe “off and on.”

“He’s played through some pain,” he said.

Did the injury hurt McCabe’s play?

“It didn’t affect his play at all,” Housley said. “I’m sure going into a battle, the way he likes it hit guys, I’m sure it might’ve been sore at times.”

In other news, Sabres goalie Robin Lehner, who missed Monday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to Washington, practiced today inside HarborCenter and is “ready to go,” Housley said. Lehner has been battling a hip injury.

The Sabres play Thursday in Detroit.

Housley also said there’s no update on center Jack Eichel, who’s out indefinitely after suffering a high right ankle sprain Feb. 10.

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