By Jay Skurski
The Buffalo Sabres could have forward Drew Stafford back in the lineup before the end of the week.
Stafford went through practice this morning in First Niagara Center wearing a red non-contact jersey. He said afterward "it's been a good last couple days."
"I think it's more a day-to-day kind of thing," Stafford said. "I had a really long day today, a hard-working day, so we'll see how it responds later today and tomorrow morning. That's pretty much where we're at."
Stafford has missed the past three games after suffering an upper-body injury against the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 2.
"It's one of those things where he's coming at me pretty fast, I'm coming at him pretty fast. It's kind of like a car crash. You see those kind of hits every game numerous times," Stafford said. "Just kind of bad luck on that one that I got twisted up a little bit."
Stafford has four goals and nine assists in 41 games this season.
Interim coach Ted Nolan said he hadn't talked to Stafford after today's practice concluded.
"I talked to him during practice. He said he was feeling good," Nolan said. "I'm not 100 percent sure about tomorrow, but he's real close."
Nolan said the Sabres' other injured players -- forwards Cody McCormick and Kevin Porter and defenseman Henrik Tallinder -- are not as close to a return.
"All those three guys are about the same," Nolan said.
taggedCody McCormick | Drew Stafford | Henrik Tallinder | Kevin Porter | Ted Nolan