Don’t expect Pat Kaleta to take it easy.
After missing seven games with a head/neck injury, the forward is eager to get back in the lineup -- and playing with any sort of apprehension is hardly an option.
“Not a chance. I’ve been injured before,” Kaleta said. “I’m not that type of guy that once I’m injured and I come back that I’m going to watch myself. I’m going to go out there like I always do and play my game.”
The grinder was cleared to play today after being injured Nov. 29 in Montreal when he took a hard hit from Canadiens’ winger Andrei Kostitsyn.
He will likely play alongside Paul Gaustad and Dan Paille as he returns to the ice Wednesday night when the Sabres host the New Jersey Devils.
“I can’t sit and watch anymore. I get aggravated,” Kaleta said. “I get too anxious and intense.
“I like to play physical and I’m itching to get back. The team has been rolling so it’s going to be a hard job for me to get out there and work as hard as they are. I’m going to try to do that and be the best I can.”
Although the Sabres have regained a forward in Kaleta, they will now be without another as Nathan Gerbe
will miss at least 10 days due to an upper body injury.
The rookie was hurt during Buffalo’s 4-2 win against the Devils on Saturday night after taking a hit late in the game.
Gerbe skated with the team on Monady but was reexamined today before practice.
“We were a little concerned how he reacted after yesterday’s skate,” Head Coach Lindy Ruff said. “The doctors just found something and decided to keep him out.”
Gerbe was recalled from the AHL Portland Pirates on Dec. 6, earning an assist and a plus-three rating in five games. Ruff said he will remain with the Sabres during the injury.
Taking Gerbe’s place in the lineup is Clarke MacArthur. The winger practiced on a line with Derek Roy
and Drew Stafford
today at HSBC Arena.
MacArthur was a healthy scratch in Saturday’s contest against the Devils.
“Clarke was probably the easiest choice to go in that spot,” Ruff said. “It’s a big opportunity so he should be pretty excited about dropping right in there and hopefully that line can keep producing.”
Veteran defenseman Teppo Numminen was also absent from practice Tuesday morning. Ruff said the blueliner had a routine check-up in Cleveland for his heart, but will be back in time for Wednesday's match-up against New Jersey.