Eichel skating, O'Reilly returns to practice

Posted at 2:28 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 14:28:20-05

There's no timetable on the return of forward Jack Eichel, but on Tuesday he was back on the ice at KeyBank Center, at least in a limited fashion. Eichel was in full pads, skating with two Sabres coaches, working on a battle drill in front of a net.

From the moment Eichel went down, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma has not given a timetable on a possible return. Bylsma has said that Eichel's next step is returning to practice with teammates --  but won't say when that will happen.

Eichel, of course, is one of many injuries the Sabres have been dealing with since before the regular season started, but things might finally be turning around.

"Us having a full roster isn't something that's going to happen for a long time," Bylsma said. "Now, we have the possibility of looking at some guys returning in the next week or ten days and there's kind of light at the end of the tunnel for getting some players back."

One of those players is likely forward Ryan O'Reilly, who skated Tuesday morning. O'Reilly has missed the Sabres last five games after reaggravating an oblique injury.

"It's a key time for us without them as well," Bylsma added. "We have to keep clawing and scratching to get wins and figure out our identity as a team without those players and then when we get them back we should be at a higher level as a team."

O'Reilly's status for Wednesday's game is uncertain but earlier in the week the 25-year-old forward told reporters that he was optimistic he would be back in the lineup soon.

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