Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston revealed Tuesday that promising young winger Marcus Foligno will not be suiting up for the team's season opener Wednesday night in Detroit against the Red Wings (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN). He also added that the 22-year-old was "not for sure" to play in the team's back-to-back games this weekend, Friday night at home against the Ottawa Senators and in Pittsburgh against the Penguins on Saturday.
Foligno has not played since sustaining an upper-body strain in the team's 5-3 preseason loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sept. 22. Prior to the injury, Foligno had enjoyed a strong preseason for the Sabres, collecting three goals and four points in three games. He has been skating both alone and with the team, but has been sporting a red non-contact jersey.
"He's been skating and we've been trying him every morning," Rolston said. "He's been going out in the morning and trying it, but it's just not where it needs to be to put him in that situation where if he gets bumped [it could] set him back further."
Rolston insisted that Foligno would not be rushed back, even with the Sabres starting the season with three games in four nights, all against teams who qualified for the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. At 6-foot-3, Foligno's game is contingent on his physicality. So the team has no plans to re-insert him in the lineup until he is completely able to take on full contact.
"We want him back in the lineup but we also want to make sure he's healthy and we don't put him in a situation where he further injures himself," Rolston said. "Now it's just kind of a day-to-day thing. Can he shoot, can he pass, can he play physical."