Patrick Kaleta recently ditched his jaw protection. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Patrick Kaleta returning to normal following facial injury

BUFFALO – Five games into his return from a broken face, little has changed for Sabres agitator Patrick Kaleta.

“It seems like I keep getting hit in the face,” joked Kaleta, who was rammed face-first into the boards by Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry eight days ago.

Kaleta escaped that scary hit with just a few cuts. The winger was wearing a jaw guard then, something he shed Tuesday because it kept cutting him. He tried wearing a chin guard to stop the cuts, but he couldn’t see the puck around his feet.

“I ripped that off during the game in Montreal,” Kaleta said Wednesday inside the First Niagara Center. “It was aggravating.”

For now, Kaleta, who took a puck in the face Sept. 28, is only wearing a tinted visor.

“I can see a whole lot better,” he said.

The doctor told him the bones and plates have settled enough so there’s “nothing to worry about,” he said.

Still, the 28-year-old must be smart.

“If I desperately need to fight, then I can,” he said.

Kaleta doesn’t know if he has to wear the tinted visor permanently. He and the doctor have to keep monitoring the muscle under his eye and the nerve. He might have to eventually undergo another surgery under his eye if it doesn’t get better, he said.

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