It’s been over a month since Jack Eichel suffered a high ankle sprain at practice and sent Sabres fans into a preseason funk. Exactly six weeks to the day since the Sabres Savior learned he would miss the first two months of the season at best.
It’s been 19 games and counting without #15 on the ice, but this morning, Jack was back.
Eichel joined his teammates on the ice for the first time since October 12 when he went down with that ankle sprain. Greeted with cheers from his fellow Sabres, Eichel was happy to get over a significant milestone in his recovery, he told Sabres.com.
"For the most part I really have progressed through everything," Eichel said. "I think prior to skating with the team you go through everything. I've had a little bit of physical contact, soft starts, pivots, crossovers … I think I felt pretty comfortable and when you're out there you pretty much forget about the ankle, and that's a good thing."
Obviously, there’s still some work to be done before Eichel can play in his first game, but just seeing him back at practice is something to give thanks for this weekend. Eichel says that he has a date circled on his calendar to return by, but that it’s still a fluid situation.
The prognosis we all heard was six-to-eight weeks, and today is the end of Week Six. If he takes the full eight weeks to recover, then Eichel’s first game back would be Friday, December 9 when the Sabres host the Capitals.