The Buffalo Sabres are through the first 20 games of the season, and with the way things are trending at the moment, it doesn't seem as though they'll have to wait a great deal longer for one of their best players to return from injury.
Jack Eichel, who first got on to the ice with his teammates on Wednesday ahead of the team's home game vs. Detroit, took part in a full practice with the Sabres for the first time since suffering an ankle injury at the beginning of the season.
Although the Sabres confirmed that Eichel won't play on Friday night against the Washington Capitals on the road, head coach Dan Bylsma told reporters that Eichel would stay in Buffalo to skate on his own. Once the team returns to Buffalo from the road game, Eichel is scheduled to rejoin his teammates for practice in Buffalo on Sunday.
"This is another level of practice today," Bylsma said. "There was some contact, so to speak. He was bouncing in and out of guys... so yeah, I think it's another step."
There still has yet to be any timetable for an Eichel return to action, although both he and Bylsma have alluded to a target date that the player has set for himself. Neither party let slip when that target date might be.
The Sabres take on the Capitals at 5:00 p.m. om Friday.