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VANEK COULD RETURN IN DAYS

Wednesday, 10.14.2009 / 2:06 PM / All News
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
Thomas Vanek (Photo: Bill Wippert)
Lindy Ruff delivered some good news regarding Thomas Vanek on Wednesday afternoon.

The Buffalo Sabres Head Coach said the winger may only miss a few days - not weeks - after sustaining an upper body injury in Tuesday’s 6-2 win against the Red Wings.

Vanek left the game following his second goal of the night – 12:46 into the second period - and did not return to the ice. In his post-game comments, Ruff indicated Vanek could miss a good period of time because of it.

“They thought he would feel a lot worse today, but he’s actually feeling a lot better,” Ruff said following practice on Wednesday. “He’s doing remarkably well which is good.. I wouldn’t even rule him out maybe for a game on the weekend, as well as he’s doing today.

“It’s a stretch but it’s something I won’t rule out now.”

In the interim, it was Adam Mair who practiced in Vanek’s place alongside Drew Stafford and Derek Roy.

The rest of the lines remained the same:

(MacArthur-Connolly-Pominville, Hecht-Kennedy-Grier, Kaleta-Gaustad-Ellis)

“With the chemistry on those lines, and as well as they’ve worked together, I don’t want to take another player off one of those and disrupt three lines,” Ruff said. “I would rather just continue to build some chemistry that’s been there on the lines that exist.”

Mair has been cleared to play since recovering from arthroscopic hip surgery in September. He is not, however on the active roster as he did not pass his preseason physical (non-roster injury status).
MULTIMEDIA

Listen to Lindy Ruff's full interview about Vanek:
Lindy Ruff

The Sabres could keep the roster down to the League maximum of 23 players if they activate Mair and place Andrej Sekera [rib] on injured reserve.

Ruff also mentioned using either Dan Paille or Nathan Paetsch in Vanek’s place until he is able to return.

Paille and Paetsch have been healthy scratches in all four games this season.

The Sabres continue Thursday with a practice at the Pepsi Center before completing their three-game home stand on Friday against the Islanders and Saturday against the Thrashers.

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