The Buffalo Sabres have been without summer acquisition and two-way centre Ryan O’Reilly since he last played on February 19th, but he’s nearing his return – and an appearance on the ice earlier on Friday helped confirm that.
O’Reilly was seen skating with Buffalo on Friday for the first time since his foot injury, which is expected to hold him out on a rough three to four week timetable. The 25 year old described getting back into the groove as feeling ‘weird’, but still affirmed that he felt good and hopes to keep improving in the coming days.
The team hasn’t activated him off the injury list yet, so there’s still no concrete expectation for when he’ll reappear in the lineup – but seeing him skate after a close to three week absence is still a reassurance for the Atlantic Division club.
Ahead of his injury, the Sabres had received 17 goals and 49 points in 59 games from the former 33rd overall pick; that’s still good for the team scoring lead, despite holding ten games in hand over the team’s second-highest scorer, rookie Jack Eichel. A return for O’Reilly won’t help the Sabres completely reverse a slow season, but it will certainly help them finish on a high note.
The Sabres will next play tomorrow afternoon, when they face the Carolina Hurricanes at 3:00 PM EST at home at the First Niagara Center. They’ll look to come back from a close 3-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens last night.