Just over three months ago, Kyle Okposo was in the Neuro Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Buffalo General Medical Center. Then-head coach Dan Bylsma was "very concerned" about his forward's health after he was admitted to the wing designated for the most seriously injured or ill patients.
Okposo was in the hospital for less than a week, and it was later reported by Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com that his hospitalization stemmed from an adverse reaction to medication he was taking to treat a concussion. It wasn't clear whether the 29-year-old would be ready for the start of training camp in September, but new GM Jason Botterill's comments Thursday offered clarity.
"From our standpoint, everything will be ready for him at the start of training camp," Botterill said at the introductory press conference for new head coach Phil Housley, "just like all our other players."
Okposo's last game came March 27 in a 4-2 win at home against Florida. He then flew on the Sabres' charter to Columbus for a game the next day but didn't play for the rest of the season while battling the illness. Okposo is entering the second year of a seven-year, $42-million contract.
Botterill said Okposo expressed excitement during the Sabres head-coaching search about the organization's possibilities under new leadership and the direction Buffalo was headed. And after a brief time when it seemed Okposo's illness could have been career- or even life-threatening, it appears he'll be part of that new chapter.
"We've had conversation with him. Everything's looking great from Kyle," Botterill said. "He physically looks great and mentally looks great."