Thomas Vanek and Lindy Ruff reached the same conclusion Sunday after the Sabres' optional workout: Vanek will likely play again in this series against the Boston Bruins although it's highly doubtful the star winger plays in Game Three Monday night in Boston, as he was walking with a pronounced limp in his left foot.
But testing showed Vanek has no broken bones and no major damage. The Sabres are classifying it as a lower-body injury, but you and I can likely call it a severe ankle sprain. Vanek did travel with the team to Boston.
"I'm sore obviously from what happened there," Vanek said of his crash into the boards after getting slashed by Boston's Johnny Boychuk. "Overall, it could be worse. It sucks but it's better than it could be. Nothing is broken."
"When a player comes off like that, you obviously think the worst," Ruff said. "That was my initial thoughts. But then after the game, finding out he had been looked at, I was pleasantly suprised the damage isn't severe."
Vanek hasn't ruled out playing Monday night but that appears to be a major stretch.
"This morning I expected to be sore, which I am and I'll just see how it feels tomorrow," he said. "I'm hoping to play. ... I'm still hoping for tomorrow even though I know deep-down it's a stretch. I would say Wednesday then. If it's not Wednesday then, I don't know. Maybe the next game. But the good part is that I feel like and we feel like I'll be back for the series."
Ruff said Drew Stafford was undergoing more testing later Sunday and would not fly to Boston with the team. But if Stafford clears those tests, he could play in Vanek's place Monday. If Stafford is not ready, Ruff said a recall would be made from Portland.
taggedSabres | Sabres coaching