The Sabres, in a change of pace, are actually getting healthier.
Defenseman Mike Weber and forwards Paul Gaustad and Patrick Kaleta participated fully in practice today. Coach Lindy Ruff said both forwards might play against Ottawa on Tuesday, while Weber told The News he is cleared to return.
"I’m just extremely excited to hopefully get back in the lineup tomorrow and be ready to go," said Weber, who will now be a coach's decision. "I got cleared by the doctors, so I’m just glad I get to play now. We’ll find out tomorrow, I guess."
Weber told The News he suffered a broken first rib during a hit against New Jersey on Nov. 16.
"The first couple days were pretty painful, but after that I’ve been back practicing," Weber said. "I was just waiting for the bone to heal. That took the longest time, so I’m just ready to go now."
The injury didn't prohibit Weber from skating, so he feels he's in game shape.
"I was able to skate and keep the cardio up and get to move at game speed," Weber said. "I think it’ll help."
Rookie call-up Brayden McNabb is still with the team. If Ruff opts to insert Weber, the Sabres could send McNabb back to Rochester or scratch struggling D-man Marc-Andre Gragnani.
Kaleta is recovering from a groin injury that has limited him to just seven minutes of ice time since Nov. 19. He had been skating in a noncontact role.
"Today is the best day by far," Kaleta said. "I’m on the verge here of coming back. It was nice to get out of that ugly color by myself. I’ve done what I can do off the ice whether it’s studying other players or video. I’m ready to get back out there and compete."
Tyler Myers, out since suffering a broken wrist Nov. 19, has begun light puckhandling drills. The defenseman is still expected to be out another one to three weeks.
"He skates early every day," Ruff said. "He’s actually now just handling the puck on a limited basis. He’s been doing off-ice workouts. He’s been doing the on-ice skating. He just can’t handle the puck to a high degree right now.
"The encouraging part is he’s got the stick back in his hand, and he’s using it."