Staal's brothers believe he can return this season

Monday, 03.18.2013 / 5:55 PM
Dave Lozo  - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal hasn't played since taking a puck in the eye during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 8, but he got to see some family the past two days.

With the Carolina Hurricanes in town to play the Rangers on Monday night, Jordan Staal and Eric Staal paid a visit to Marc's home Sunday night to see how their brother was doing. Both Eric and Jordan reported that Marc's spirits are much higher now than 10 days ago and they believe Marc can still return this season.

"I think he's been in better spirits as of late because he's starting to feel a little bit more progress," Eric said. "I think he was in a lot of pain earlier on and rightfully so. It was good to see him. He was in good spirits. We had some good laughs and enjoyed being around each other last night."

Along with his brothers, Marc's parents came to New York as well, a planned trip with the entire clan scheduled to play at Madison Square Garden.

Eric said while Marc is progressing, he doesn't have complete vision back in the eye. Marc was left with a scar above his right eye and didn't lose any teeth in the process, a positive according to Eric because, "my parents paid a lot for braces."

While Jordan and Eric said they aren't planning to start wearing visors this season, Jordan said Marc is planning on making the switch when he returns.

"We asked him -- I think he's going to wear one," Jordan said. "I think he's learned his lesson and he's going to throw one on."

Marc remains out indefinitely and will miss his fifth straight game Monday. Including the loss to the Senators, the Rangers have lost four of five games since Staal left that game with an injury.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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