Well the news Rangers fans have been waiting for since October has arrived…sort of. According to Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News, defenseman Marc Staal will be re-examined Monday to begin taking contact in practice, the final step before being cleared to return to the lineup after missing the entire season with post-concussion syndrome following a hit last February by his brother, Eric, of the Carolina Hurricanes.
The team continues to say the All-Star defenseman is out indefinitely, but that seems to be changing for the positive. Obviously, there could be a setback in practice, though I’d be shocked if someone leveled him practice.
Earlier in the week, Staal told Dave Lozo of NHL.com that he hasn’t completely ruled out playing in the Winter Classic against the Philadelphia Flyers a week from Monday, but he rescinded a bit Tuesday in an interview during the 4-1 win against the New Jersey Devils.
Personally, I think we’ll see Staal back around the second week of January, if all goes according to plan.
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