Good News/Bad News Kind of Day in Ashburn
The good news first: Gritty wingers Matt Pettinger and Matt Bradley returned to practice this morning.
Pettinger has missed both games with an "upper body" injury; Bradley's been out with an equally mysterious "lower body" injury.
More good news: Bradley said he feels close to being able to go, and hopes to lace 'em up for Thursday's game in St. Paul.
Now, the bad: Pettinger, a 20-goal scorer last season and one of the team's best penalty killers, said he was feeling better, but stopped short of saying he's close to returning. He took part in all of the skating drills, but clearly struggled to put any strength behind his shots.
"I'm still a little sore," said Pettinger, who was hurt during a collision in the final seconds of the preseason game against the Flyers on September 29. "I don't want to put a timetable on it. We'll see Wednesday. It's not something I want to rush this early in the season."
Center Boyd Gordon, who was injured late in the season opener in New York, also did not skate and is questionable for Thursday.
Defenseman Ben Clymer did not skate, either. But General Manager George McPhee said he was not overly concerned about Clymer's injury, saying only, "Today was a maintenance day for Ben." McPhee added that he expects Clymer to be ready to face the Wild.
First line center Dainius Zubrus, meantime, came off the ice early. He is still bothered by soreness in his surgically repaired knee, but said he will play against the Wild.
Seem like the bad news outweighed the good? Yeah, me too.
I'm most concerned about the injuries to Pettinger and Zubrus. Pettinger didn't sound like a man confident he would be back soon. Zubrus does not look like he's even close to be 100 percent, and it's not the type of injury that's going to get better by continuing to play.
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