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Staal skating, but availability for opener in question

NHL.com @NHL
New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal skated Friday with the club's American Hockey League affiliate, but is no closer to joining the team in Europe for its regular-season opener next week.

Staal told The (Bergen) Record's Andrew Gross that he's not in game shape and has not been cleared for contact, and achieving both those things by the team's Oct. 7 season-opener in Stockholm would be tough.

Staal has been slowed in the preseason by a concussion suffered last season and has not played in a preseason game. Staal revealed he had a cortisone shot in his neck recently to relieve soreness from the injury.

The 24-year-old blueliner said he would continue working out and skating with the Connecticut Whale, the Rangers' AHL club, as long as his headaches don't return.
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