Marc Staal is on track to return to the Rangers' lineup at some point during the team’s five-game road trip, which started in Washington Friday night and concludes a week from today in Toronto.
"I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but it is definitely not out of the question," the defenseman said. "It will be good to have a full practice. But knowing the types of steps it takes to get back, I’m on the right track." Staal has been sidelined since Dec. 7, when he sustained his second recorded concussion within 33 months. The alternate captain, who will turn 27 in a little over two weeks, has been skating since Dec. 21. "It will be good to bump a little in practice, but there’s really no comparison to the hitting that goes on in a game," Staal said. "Once you have the confidence that you feel well enough to take a hit, you take that confidence into the game that you’re going to be OK. Once I get my wind and my legs back, I’ll re-assess and go from there." Staal is unlikely to play Sunday in Tampa, but he could return New Year’s Eve in Sunrise, Fla., for the match against the Panthers.
Sat, Dec 28, 2013 09:40:00 AM