NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said Tuesday he's seeing progress every day in his recovery from an upper-body injury.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the Predators placed him on injured reserve Sunday, Subban, who will miss playing his former team, the Montreal Canadiens, on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV), said he is working each day to get better but is frustrated about missing games.
Tuesday is the first time the Predators and Canadiens will play each other since the June 29 trade that sent Subban to Nashville and defenseman Shea Weber to Montreal.
"Just taking it every day," said Subban, who will miss his eighth straight game Tuesday and will be re-evaluated in the next 2-3 weeks. "The good thing is that I'm seeing progress every day, so just getting better. Obviously frustrated. You want to get into a game. Obviously everyone knows how important this game is for both teams and I'd love to be out there. But I'm just going to have to rely on my teammates tonight to get the job done."
Predators general manager David Poile said Monday he is optimistic the timeframe on Subban's return will be accurate.
"He has been working out," Poile said. "He has been on the ice, not a lot, and I think this timeframe is going to be a good one. I have my fingers crossed on that. That's where we are. I know there's been a lot of publicity about it because of [Subban's] stature as a player."
Video: COL@NSH: Subban blisters shot that redirects in
Subban said, "It's difficult, but at the same token I'm optimistic. I've been pretty lucky my whole career to be able to play in pretty much all the games. Just so happens that this is just the way it went for me this time. I've got to be a pro about it and just come to the rink every day and continue to get better, just like I have."
In seven seasons, he's missed 33 games, including the seven he's been out with this injury.
Subban said he was working through the injury prior to being taken out of the lineup. He said it was the first time that he's dealt with an injury like this.
"I remember playing a couple games and sort of battling through it," he said. "Probably the past five games before I was actually taken out were pretty tough for me and then just came out. It was tough, just having symptoms and getting out of there. So I think now I'm just focused on just recovering and getting back. Like I said, it's been really good. Every day has been getting better."
Subban said coming out of the lineup was a last resort for him. But the injury got to the point where it was the best option.
Video: NJD@NSH: Subban toe drags, snaps in beautiful goal
"You never want to come out of the lineup," he said. "I'm not the only player, but I think I can kind of speak for 700-plus players in the NHL, I don't know a guy who has played a game at 100 percent. Usually every game you're a little banged up. So for me the last option is to even think about coming out of the lineup. But it got to the point where everybody decided that was what's best."
The Predators, who are two points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with 38 points, are 3-2-2 without Subban in the lineup.