Buffalo Sabres star center Jack Eichel spoke to the media for the first time since he was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain.
"Obviously my ankle doesn't feel too good but I think the worst part is definitely mental.
"You want to be out there with your teammates so badly and you miss it, you miss going on the road with the guys … That's probably the hardest part for me."
He said that he would remain in the protective boot for about 10 days, but his recovery schedule after that was unclear. The knee scooter he used for the home opener was the same one Robin Lehner had when recovering from his own high-ankle sprain in the opening game last season.
Eichel said he’d been talking to teammates like Lehner who’d had the same injury, and their advice was that he’d have good days while recuperating and would want to get back on the ice, but patience was mandatory.
"It is what it is. Injuries are part of the game. We play a physical game, we play a fast game, so it's important that I learn to deal with this experience and just make myself better while I'm out and take my time and make sure when I come back I'm able to positively affect the team."
With Evander Kane out for some time as well, the Sabres are going to have to dig deep to eke out some wins while Eichel is out.