Brian Gionta was injured Dec. 21. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres plan recalls; Brian Gionta and Torrey Mitchell practice

BUFFALO – About halfway through practice this morning, Sabres general manager Tim Murray walked onto the bench and began talking to coach Ted Nolan. Minutes later, the two walked down the tunnel.

What was going on? A GM rarely talks to a coach mid-practice. It’s even rarer for the coach to leave the ice.

Nolan returned to the ice a few minutes later. Following practice, he said the two discussed some recalls for the reeling, injury-plagued team.

“We talked about what’s down in Rochester right now, who’s available,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center.

The Sabres will summon some players before they host Detroit on Tuesday, Nolan said. They should have center Torrey Mitchell (foot, 12 games) back. Mitchell and captain Brian Gionta (upper body, nine games) practiced with their teammates for the first time today.

Gionta, who was hit high by Boston’s Matt Bartkowski on Dec. 21, won’t return this week. Still, “It feels good to get out here,” he said.

The Sabres miss Mitchell badly. They’re 1-10-1 since he blocked Erik Karlsson’s shot Dec. 15.

“We were playing well, we were winning games,” Mitchell said. “For one reason or another, the chemistry gets messed up a little bit, and we fall into a little bit of a hole.”

Forward Cody McCormick (blood clot, click here for story), winger Chris Stewart (flu) and defenseman Mike Weber (maintenance) missed today’s practice.

Stewart should be ready Tuesday, Nolan said.

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