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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
Ryan Miller (Photo: Getty Images)
Ryan Miller updated his injury status Monday afternoon but was still unable to provide a timetable for his return.

The goaltender suffered a high ankle sprain in the third period of Saturday’s 4-2 win against the New York Rangers after taking a hit from Scott Gomez and falling awkwardly behind the net.

  Patrick Lalime: Audio | Video
  Ryan Miller: Audio | Video
  Lindy Ruff: Audio | Video
  Andrej Sekera: Video

“It’s a little better,” Miller said. “Swelling is down, but it didn’t have a lot to begin with which is good. It’s a little achy and obviously it’s just one of those things we have to see how it reacts.”

Miller arrived at HSBC Arena wearing a brace on his left ankle, although he stated it was more for support than anything else.

“Honestly, I don’t really need it right now. I can walk and keep my range of motion,” he said.  “When I’m at home it’s off. When I’m in the locker room, it’s off… but if I’m going out to a restaurant, or stop by to see some friends, I’m going to make sure I have it on for the next day or so.”

Miller said he wants to stay as active as possible and will collaborate with team doctors and Strength and Conditioning Coach Doug McKenney to form a workout regimen.

In the mean time, the netminder’s plan is to keep things as normal – and consistent – as possible.

“I want to just treat it like I’m not going to miss a beat with these guys. I want to stay involved with my team and support them the best that I can,” he said. “It’s tough. You want to play. I’ve already gone through the experience where I’ve had to miss time.”

In 2005, Miller missed 18 games with a fractured thumb, sidelined for nearly five weeks.

“I respect the fact that every chance I get to suit up, it means something to me. It’s tough to watch, but you put that aside and support your team,” he said. “I’m good at being a teammate, I’m good at being around. I encourage guys and help in the locker room when I can.

“That’s what I’m going to have to do for this first stretch, see what direction this will take. For however long I need to do that, I’ll do that because I want to be involved, I want to be active.”

Thomas Vanek skated with the team for the first time since fracturing his jaw Feb. 7 in Ottawa.

The winger wore a full cage during practice and remains in “the no-contact category” according to Head Coach Lindy Ruff.

“For the first day out there, I was surprised at how well he moved,” Ruff said. “I really think that this was right on the timetable for pushing that three to four week area.”

“I don’t ever deal with injuries with the team. I know it’s a big injury, I know [Vanek] was a big injury, but I didn’t say anything about Thomas’ injury. I can tell you that it’s my responsibility to make sure the team plays real well in front of [Patrick Lalime] and for us to win games. We’ve always been able to overcome key injuries and again, it has to fall on us to pick it up… That might mean we have to be a little bit better in some areas. That falls on me.”

~Lindy Ruff

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