By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com
CORAL SPRINGS – Bryan McCabe can finally see some progress.
The Panthers’ defenseman, out since Oct. 10 when injuring his back in Carolina, said Wednesday afternoon he’s feeling better and, if all goes well, hopes to skate with the team next week.
“It’s finally coming around,” McCabe said. “It’s taken a while, but we’re slowly getting there. It’s improving every day so, hopefully, I can start skating with the team soon and we’ll see where it goes.”
McCabe, acquired over the off-season from Toronto, has been sorely missed by the Panthers, especially on the power play. McCabe said Wednesday he hadn’t experienced any back spasms in 36 hours, “so that’s a good sign.”
“It’s still really stiff and sore but I can actually move around now and get out there and shoot the puck, which is nice,” he added. “It’s the first sign of a good thing I’ve seen in a couple weeks. It took a while, but, hopefully, we’ll see some light coming soon.”
As he continues working off ice, McCabe said he might try to get a pregame skate in before practicing with the team next week.
“If it keeps progressing I hope to get out there next week, get my lungs back and get some contact going,” he said.
McCabe said he’d like to accompany the Panthers on their west coast road trip next week to Los Angeles, Phoenix and Anaheim.CAMPBELL, WEISS STILL MENDINGStephen Weiss
, who’s been bothered with a groin injury since training camp, did not skate with the team Wednesday and will not play Thursday night against Ottawa. Weiss said he’s hoping to be back on the ice this weekend when the Panthers play consecutive nights in Nashville and Atlanta.
Meanwhile, Gregory Campbell was to undergo Wednesday afternoon an MRI due to a hip flexor. He is not expected to play Thursday.
“He hurts,” said coach Peter DeBoer of Campbell. “I thought he was playing real good hockey for us. I thought he had strung together three, four really good games in a row. I thought the line with (Radek) Dvorak and (Rostislav) Olesz was really creating an identity, the type of identity we wanted.”