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Eichel not rushing back, will return when 100%

Eichel not rushing back, will return when 100%
Posted at 12:49 PM, Oct 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 15:40:28-04

There is still no firm timetable on when Jack Eichel will return to the Buffalo Sabres lineup but we do know one thing: he’s not going to come back until he’s ready.

Friday, during practice, the 19-year-old told reporters that he wouldn’t return until he was 100 percent and ready to contribute on the ice.

"I’m not bad. I think more than anything it’s just disappointing,” Eichel told Bill Hoppe of the Times Herald. "You’re just so excited for the season to get going.”

Sunday, the Sabres will start a west coast road trip without Eichel. He says his mom will be coming in to town to give him a hand.

Eichel admits the timing of his injury was what makes it so tough but he says injuries are part of the game. Now, Eichel's focus shifts to how he handles his ankle and eventually how he returns.

My take

Eichel’s return is surely one Sabres fans want to see sooner rather than later —but it sounds like he is approaching his injury the right way. Don’t fool yourself, he wants to play and be on the ice, but this is about the big picture.

After the injury I posed the question on Twitter “Did you think the Sabres were going to win the Stanley Cup this year?”

The goal this season was to make strides and make a playoff push. If Eichel’s teammates can do that without him and maybe have a record around .500 when the 19-year-old returns than this absolutely could be a productive season.