The Buffalo Sabres injury report continues to be a mixed bag.
On the plus side, Conor Sheary returned to practice with the team for the first time since the opening of training camp. On the downside, Scott Wilson went down during practice, helped off the ice without being able to put any weight on his right leg.
Let's start with the positives.
Sheary came to the Sabres via a summer trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The forward played 79 games for the Pens last season with 18 goals and 12 assists and looked to be an important part of improving the Sabres offense. But a nagging upper body injury sidelined him as soon as camp opened.
"Just something that had been bothering me just got worse when I started skating," Sheary said Sunday afternoon after he joined the Sabres for a full, energetic practice in HarborCenter. "They decided it was best for me to take some time off and rehab that before the season."
That time off helps his body, but provides a challenge for the 26-year-old as he tries to acclimate to a new organization.
"It's definitely tough not being around the guys," Sheary said. "You want to create chemistry and meet your teammates and linemates and stuff like that during camp. But I think I will adjust here pretty quickly going into the first game."
Both Sheary and Sabres coach Phil Housley said it was possible that the left winger, who skated on a line with Patrik Berglund at center and Tage Thompson and Alexander Nylander rotating on the right, would be ready for the season opener on Thursday.
Regardless, Housley is excited to have Sheary with the team because he brings a "competitive fire," Housley said. "He's really strong in the battles and plays the game the right way, you know a 200-foot game, gets on the forecheck. He can play in all situations. I know he's been out for a little bit here, but it's good to have him back and he will have some quality practice time leading up to Boston. He got some bumping and grinding in at the end which is good to see."
While there's good news around Sheary, there's now uncertainty around Wilson, who looked to be ready to make the NHL roster out of camp. It was late in practice when he went down along the boards and had to be helped off the ice by his teammates.
"It's way too early," Housley said about Wilson's injury right after practice. "Unfortunate. He got tangled up there, came off the ice. I haven't talked to our trainers yet so I don't have any answer for you at this point."
Defenseman Zach Bogosian and forward Johan Larsson missed practiced with Housley characterizing their injuries as day-to-day, but Jack Eichel returned along with defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Marco Scandella, They missed the last practice more as an injury precaution than with any major injury.
The other roster news of Sunday came from the waiver wire as defenseman Matt Tennyson and forwards Nicholas Baptiste and Justin Bailey all cleared waivers. Tennyson was at Sabres practice, paired with Brendan Guhle.
"I think the plan right now is just to have some bodies up here for practice," Housley said. "We'll see where that takes us. We've got to err on the side of caution with (Ristolainen and Scandella) and it's good to have eight D so right now that's where he is."
Neither Baptiste nor Bailey was on the ice with the Sabres and both were assigned to Rochester later in the day.
"It's a situation where obviously it's unfortunate," Housley said. "We have a lot of new players, a lot of young players."