NOTEBOOK: SEKERA CLOSE TO RETURN
Tuesday, 02.10.2009 / 1:11 PM ET / Features
By Erin Pollina - Sabres.com
|Andrej Sekera (Photo: Getty Images)|
Lindy Ruff isn’t so sure.
After missing the last 11 contests with an ankle injury, Sekera believes he can play Wednesday night as the Buffalo Sabres host the Ottawa Senators. Ruff, however, would rather err on the side of caution.
|Lindy Ruff Interview|
|Andrej Sekera Interview|
|Dan Paille Interview|
“I think he’s a lot closer but I was a little concerned yesterday,” Ruff said. “I always get a little bit worried with ankles when you’re coming back. I know he felt it yesterday, but today was better."
Sekera said he has been arduously conditioning to stay in game-shape and tried to put pressure on the ankle.
"If you won't try it, you don't know how it's going to feel 100 percent, body on body," he said. "I was trying that and I feel pretty good."
Sekera was hurt on Jan. 14 in Chicago after getting tangled up in a hit from Blackhawks' winger Dustin Byfulgien. While he is eager to get back on the ice, Sekera understands the risks of jumping in prematurely.
"It’s frustrating but injuries belong to the game," Sekera said. "You just have to get over it and make sure that it heals pretty good because you don’t want to get injured again and miss a couple games because it didn’t.
“I’m just making sure that I’m doing everything I can do to help it and be ready for the game.”
Sekera has 13 points (1+12) through 43 games this season.
“I know he thinks he can play and we’ll make a decision,” Ruff said.
Derek Roy’s stint on left wing was short lived.
After being paired alongside Tim Connolly and Drew Stafford during Monday’s practice, Roy returned to center Tuesday morning at HSBC Arena, between Jason Pominville and Clarke MacArthur.
Jochen Hecht replaced Roy on the wing, joining Connolly and Stafford.
Pat Kaleta was absent from the skate for “some maintenance,” according to Ruff. He is expected to be in the lineup Wednesday night against Ottawa.
“You harp on preparation. Preparation is your routine. It’s how you prepare the night before, the attitude you come to the rink [with] game day morning. It’s the focus you can have going into the game. Whether it’s the start of the game or whether it’s the last minute of the game, it has to be the same… Nobody prepares the same but it is developing a routine that is an effective routine for each player. In the past I’ve gone to players, not thinking their routine is good enough. [Told them] that you’re going to have to change the way you prepare. Part of that is you have to help these players grow.
The stretching, the footwork… little things like that I think tell your body we have a game coming up and that game is in 10 minutes or 15 minutes and that clock winds down and by the time you’re ready to hit the ice you’re ready to play.”