One week after taking a puck off his foot, Mark Pysyk said he wouldn’t be out much longer. That was five weeks ago.
Pysyk finally returned to practice with the Sabres on Friday, and once again the defenseman said he shouldn’t be out much longer.
“At the start obviously I told you guys I thought it wouldn’t be too long,” said Pysyk, who revealed a second set of X-rays showed a broken bone in his foot rather than just a bruise. “Sometimes the first X-ray doesn’t show until things sort of clear up.
“I’ve been on the ice the last three, four days, and it’s been good since I’ve been on the ice, so hopefully it continues to go that way. I don’t think there’s an exact timeline yet. It’s good to be back skating with the team. I think that means I’m a little closer.”
Pysyk, who suffered his injury Nov. 17 against Dallas, will miss his 21st game in a row Saturday when the Sabres host Detroit at 1 p.m. in First Niagara Center. Coach Dan Bylsma said Pysyk needs three to five more practices before returning to the lineup.
“He needs to have a few more given the time off,” Bylsma said. “He’s got to get some conditioning skates in and get some contact situations into his practice before he’s available.”
Pysyk had one assist in 18 games before going out of the lineup.
“I feel like I haven’t seen the guys for a month, so it’s good to be back with them and get back in the swing of things,” Pysyk said. “It’s pretty boring to come in here and watch the guys play for a little bit more than a month. It’s frustrating, but there’s nothing you can really do. You’ve got to come back and be in the best shape that I can and hopefully get back in the lineup.
“I had a boot on for a little while. I could ride the bike with one leg and both my arms, so that’s not fun. I did some upper-body stuff and cardio the best we could with the bike.”
As his ankle continues to heal, goaltender Robin Lehner has begun looking at Rochester’s schedule. He’ll make at least one rehab start with the Amerks, and he hopes it’s against his former team. The Amerks play the Binghamton Senators next Saturday.
Bylsma said Lehner also will need three to five more practices before the organization determines when the goalie will play in a game.
The coach had no update on forward Tyler Ennis, who will miss his second straight game with an upper-body injury.
The New York Islanders have placed Johnny Boychuk on injured reserve. The defenseman crashed hard into the boards Thursday when Sabres center Jack Eichel spun away from Boychuk’s check.
“It’s going to be a little while for him,” said Isles coach Jack Capuano, according to Newsday. “Definitely a huge loss for us, but we have to step up and do the job.”
The Sabres are 1-0-1 against the Red Wings, with the third period providing the difference in each game. In the first meeting, Detroit scored a power-play goal with 6:29 left to tie the game before winning, 5-4, in a shootout. In the second game, the Sabres scored twice in the final 4:14 to pick up a 2-1 win.
“We gave up one in the first game and we got one in the second game,” Bylsma said. “I’d like it to just be a clean win.”