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Malkin Making Progress

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins
After sitting out the Penguins’ last three games with a sinus infection and a troublesome knee, Evgeni Malkin practiced Monday and is traveling with the team to New York.

Head coach Dan Bylsma announced that Malkin will not be playing in Tuesday’s game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Although Malkin doesn't feel completely recovered from his sinus infection, the Penguins forward does feel like he's very close to being back in game form.

Evgeni Malkin practiced Monday, after missing three games due to a knee injury and sinus infection.
“I feel strong and have skated a couple days,” Malkin said following practice, where he rotated at center on the fourth line with Craig Adams. “I feel alright.”

The sinus infection has been the main source of Malkin's troubles, keeping him out of action for both the Penguins’ last three games and last weekend’s All-Star festivities. But he’s feeling much better coming off the five-day break.

“It was a little bit hard to catch my breath and I was in a little bit of pain," he admitted. "But I’ve had a couple days of rest and I feel alright now."

The rest was exactly what the doctor ordered.

“(The doctor) gave me a couple pills and said I needed rest and to do nothing,” Malkin said.

The good news is that his knee, which has nagged him over the course of the season, is no longer bothering him. He will not even need to wear a brace when he returns to the lineup for games.

“The knee feels alright,” he said. “It’s 100 percent ready.”

“It’s dealing with his current injury,” Bylsma said of why the decision had already been made for Malkin to sit out Tuesday's tilt, confirming that his injury was still sinus/head-related. “He’s not ready to go in for (Tuesday)’s game.”

Malkin just wants to make sure he is completely ready for the Penguins’ last stretch of games before playoffs.

“We have 30 games left,” he said. “I need to adjust my game before playoffs and be 100 percent.”
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