Robert Bortuzzo (LTIR - lower body) took another step forward in his recovery on Friday, as he joined the team for his first full practice since suffering an injury on Jan. 2.

Bortuzzo has missed 28 straight games with his lower-body injury, but has been skating on his own over the past two weeks. Head Coach Patrick Roy said Bortuzzo looked good in practice, but will defer to the team's trainers on when he'll be eligible to return to the lineup. Bortuzzo must be activated before he can return. 

Bortuzzo recorded 16 hits and 17 blocked shots in his first 11 games with the Isles prior to the injury. His Islanders teammates can appreciate the effort he's put in to get healthy over the past two-and-a-half months.

"It's not easy when you're grinding away and we've been on the road a lot too and you're trying to get back and rehab," said Noah Dobson, who sits next to Bortuzzo in the room. "It's not easy, but he shows up every day with a great attitude and he's a great guy to be around. So really happy to see him back out there. And hopefully we'll have him back here soon."


Brock Nelson was absent from practice on Friday, due to personal reasons. Roy said he expects Nelson to be available for this weekend's games.


Roy revealed his goalies for the next two games, as Semyon Varlamov will take on the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, while Ilya Sorokin will take on the Rangers on Sunday.

Varlamov is 3-2-0 in five games against the Senators since joining the Isles with a 2.23 GAA, a .931 SV% and one shutout. Varlamov won his most recent outing, stopping 22-of-23 shots against the Anaheim Ducks on Mar. 10.

Sorokin is 3-2-1 lifetime against the Rangers with a 3.00 GAA, a .915 SV% and a shutout.

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