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|Gaborik Discusses His Return to Lineup ||Watch |
|Tortorella on What It Means to Have Gaborik Back ||Watch |
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By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com
After taking part in another full practice on Wednesday at the MSG Training Center, Marian Gaborik
first spoke with head trainer Jim Ramsay and then sought out Rangers head coach John Tortorella.
Gaborik’s urgent message to both?
“I’m good to go tomorrow,” said Gaborik.
|A healthy Marian Gaborik should provide the Rangers with a healthy supply of scoring over the remainder of the current four-game homestand, which continues on Thursday night vs. Buffalo. |
So after sitting out 12 games with a separated shoulder, Gaborik will be back in the lineup on Thursday night when the Rangers host the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden.
“It’s feeling confident enough and comfortable enough to jump back into things, and after today I feel that way,” said Gaborik, who has two points in three games played this season after leading the Rangers with 42 goals and 86 points a year ago. “It’s been awhile since I played and I am very anxious to get back in there.”
Gaborik, who will wear some extra padding underneath his shoulder pads against the Sabres as a precaution, admitted that he does not know exactly how his shoulder will feel when he takes a hit for real in a game situation, but he is confident that the shoulder is healed enough for him to return to action.
Tortorella was pleased that Gaborik initiated the conversation and informed his coach that he was ready to play again.
“I’ve stayed away from him because I think the players feel more comfortable going to the trainers to talk about (injuries),” said Tortorella. “I’m not a big guy about he’s 100 percent or he’s 95 percent. Can you play or not? And Gabi knows that, and he came to me after practice and said he’s ready to play. And I said OK!”
While Gaborik will return to the lineup on Thursday, veteran defenseman Michal Rozsival will not be able to play. Tortorella revealed after practice that Rozsival -- who did not take part in Wednesday’s on-ice workout -- has been suffering from a “bad shoulder” and as a result will miss the next seven-to10n days of action to rest and rehab it.
“He has been playing through a really bad shoulder for quite awhile and it just got to the point now where he just can’t handle it and he’s worried about hurting the club,” said Tortorella.
The head coach added that it does not appear the injury to Rozsival’s shoulder is serious enough to warrant any surgery and that rest should be cure enough.