BUFFALO - The Buffalo Sabres will be without defenseman Zach Bogosian for weeks because of a sprained MCL.
Sabres coach Dan Bylsma updated Bogosian's status following morning skate as the Sabres prepared to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, SNO, NHL.TV).
"It's a knee injury, MCL, and it's more between a one and a two grade MCL sprain," Bylsma said. "It's weeks at this point."
Bogosian sustained the injury during the first period of the Sabres 2-1 win against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday and left the game. Rookie defenseman Casey Nelson will take Bogosian's spot in the lineup and will be paired with Dmitry Kulikov against the Maple Leafs. Nelson has played in one game this season on opening night against the Montreal Canadiens.
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"I'm really excited, good to be back," said Nelson, 24. "I've learned a lot [from sitting out] but I think I learned, mentally, how to stay in it from college (at Minnesota State-Mankato) and not playing in my freshman year, so that definitely helped me. Mentally I've been in it and I've been positive, really positive, just taking everything in, so I think I'm ready."
Bogosian is added to a growing injured list in Buffalo. The Sabres are already without center Jack Eichel (high ankle sprain), Evander Kane (broken ribs), Nicolas Deslauriers (knee), and Hudson Fasching (groin).
"There was some [discouragement] at the beginning of the year with an injury before you drop the first puck (Eichel) dealing with an injury to a good player on your team," Bylsma said. "You deal with the injuries. I think the injury in-game to Zach was something we had to deal with a little bit more going down to five [defensemen] on the road. In-game there's an adjustment because of going down to five [defensemen], but I think we're a good enough team and a strong enough team to have the next guy step in there and still do the job."