Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Staal's status for Game 4 uncertain
By Scott Burnside ESPN.com
MONTREAL -- Injured Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal returned to the ice for an hour-long workout in full gear Wednesday morning, just five days after having surgery to repair a sliced tendon in his right foot.
It is not known whether he will be available to the Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday night in Montreal. The Penguins lead the Canadiens 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
"I think yesterday morning I kind of threw it out there just to see what they'd say and they kind of shrugged their shoulders and said why not and just went out and tested it out yesterday morning," said Staal, who skated for about five minutes Tuesday morning without equipment.
"Today I decided to try and get a full practice in and feel good," Staal said in his first public comments since suffering the injury in Game 1 Friday night in Pittsburgh.
The top of Staal's right foot was cut by the skate of Montreal defenseman PK Subban when the two got entangled.
Although he was favoring his right foot early in the optional practice at the Bell Center in Montreal, by the end Staal was driving toward the net through traffic during a four-on-four scrimmage.
"I don't have a time frame for you [for Staal's return]," coach Dan Bylsma said. "[He's] getting around the ice pretty well. It was encouraging for him and his injury. We'll see how he is tomorrow morning when he wakes up."
Bylsma also said that veteran forward Bill Guerin's return to the lineup after missing Game 3 with an undisclosed injury won't be decided until Thursday morning.
Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.