PITTSBURGH -- Travis Hamonic acknowledges that he "couldn't move" when he first sustained an ankle injury Sunday. Two days later, though, the New York Islanders defenseman declared himself "ready to play" in Tuesday night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Hamonic, the 22-year-old who is averaging more than 24 minutes of ice time per game, participated in the morning skate at Consol Energy Center two days after "rolling over" his foot during the third period of an overtime loss at the Winnipeg Jets.
Though Hamonic said the decision will ultimately lie with coach Jack Capuano at game time, Hamonic left little doubt that he felt healthy enough to contribute.
"I wouldn't be putting myself in a situation like that if I didn't feel ready to play," Hamonic said. "Obviously, (Pittsburgh) has a lot of skill up front and a lot of power and a lot of speed, more than anything, and I wouldn't want to be putting myself at risk physically and also don't want to be a liability out there for the guys. If (health) was an issue I wouldn't even be (taking part in the morning skate), so it's a dead issue."
Assuming he plays, Hamonic is expected to be reunited with partner Andrew MacDonald. Capuano said Thomas Hickey will remain in the lineup after making his NHL debut Sunday at the Winnipeg Jets. Joe Finley will be the odd man out; veteran Radek Martinek is expected to make his season debut if it is deemed that Hamonic can't play.
The Islanders also announced that forward Jesse Joensuu will miss the next 5-7 weeks after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia. Joensuu has not played for New York yet this season and is suspended because his injury was sustained while playing in Finland during the lockout.
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