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Torts: No timetable on Staal, Sauer getting better

by Dan Rosen /
GOTHENBURG, Swe. -- Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is expected to skate with the Connecticut Whale of the AHL for a second straight day Saturday, but coach John Tortorella offered no timetable on when the club's top blue-liner, who is suffering from post-concussion symptoms, would re-join his teammates.

Staal also practiced with Connecticut on Friday and told The (Bergen) Record that he would only be back on the ice Saturday if he did not have headaches.

"We'll see how it feels the next day after the workout," Tortorella said. "That's a day to day situation as far as the information he gives us and how he feels. It is encouraging that he is on the ice."

The Rangers are still hopeful that Staal will be able to join them on in Europe and play in the season-opener next Friday against Los Angeles. However, Staal told The Record on Friday that he wasn't in game shape and hasn't been cleared for contact, and making both happen in the next week could be difficult.

Michael Sauer
Defense - NYR
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 12 | PTS: 15
SOG: 54 | +/-: 20
"I'm just going day-by-day with him," Tortorella said. "It's just judging by how he feels. We'll make our decision accordingly and then we'll talk about what we are going to do."

Tortorella also said that New York's other injured defenseman, Michael Sauer (sprained right shoulder), will not play Sunday in Bratislava against HC Slovan, but "he's getting better and we just want to get him completely healthy before we put him into some action."

Sauer skated Friday for the first time since injuring his shoulder in Monday's preseason game against the Flyers. He told after his workout that he is still sore, but he is hoping to play before the season-opener.

The Rangers final preseason game is Monday in Zug, Switzerland.

"The goal would be to play in a couple of days if the shoulder starts feeling really well, but it's a process," Sauer said. "It takes time. It's nothing too serious, just one of those time things."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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