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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
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The Buffalo Sabres were missing a pair of players Tuesday afternoon as the team completed a 30-minute skate at HSBC Arena.

Defenseman Tyler Myers, as well as forward Pat Kaleta were absent from the workout.

According to Head Coach Lindy Ruff, Myers was given the day off to get some rest, due to a sore groin and the amount of ice time - nearly 23 minutes per game - he has been garnishing.

“He was one of the guys who got sick in Ottawa and was down some weight so we left him off there,” Ruff said. “When you get run down and you’re down some weight, there’s a good chance you can pull some muscles.”

Kaleta is day-to-day with a neck injury while Vanek, who did practice, has an abdomen injury; suffering from some bruising that has affected his ability to skate.

The good news for the Sabres is that defenseman Chris Butler is getting closer to returning to the lineup.

The blueliner, who has been out since Dec. 3, after suffering an ankle sprain against the Montreal Canadiens, participated in the full practice.

“Butler is doing a lot better. Vanek is better today, still not up to speed. Encouraging, in Butler’s case. In Thomas’ its better but I still don’t think he’s there.”

Ruff said he doesn’t expect either player to return to the lineup until after the Christmas break. After claiming an overtime victory Monday night in Toronto, the team leaves for Washington today to take on the Capitals on Thursday night at the Verizon Center. Faceoff is at 7 p.m.
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