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RICK PRACTICES, COULD PLAY TUESDAY NIGHT

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Aaron Johnson sidelined approximately six weeks with knee injury


Rick DiPietro
Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro was cleared to practice today at Iceworks and reported no major problems with his vision after taking a high stick in the eye during the team's 3-2 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

After practice, Islanders head coach Ted Nolan said DiPietro "looked good,” but the coach would not commit to a starter for Tuesday night's showdown between the Islanders and Rangers at 7:05 pm at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

"Let's see how Ricky does at the morning skate on Tuesday and then we'll make a decision,” said Nolan. "He's too valuable to this franchise to do anything hasty.”

DiPietro told reporters asking about a possible concussion that he "did not suffer a blow to the head. I got a stick to the eye.” He also added, "I consider myself very fortunate it was not as bad as it could have been.”

Defenseman/forward Aaron Johnson suffered a knee injury in a collision at today's practice and will sidelined for approximately six weeks of action. A big favorite of his teammates, Johnson will be missed for his grit and hustle at games and practices. "You never want to see that with a guy as dedicated as Aaron Johnson,” said Nolan. "The good news is, when it happened it looked like the injury could have even been worse. I'm glad to hear we'll get AJ back.”

The Islanders will recall a player on Tuesday morning for the game tomorrow night against the Rangers.
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