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DiPietro practices; feels like tightness has finally been fixed
Rehabbing goaltender Rick DiPietro, who did not play the third period of last Friday's game in Springfield (his second rehab start), practiced with goaltending consultant Sudarshan Maharaj and faced shots from Doug Weight, Tim Jackman, and Jeff Tambellini before the rest of the team took the ice for the morning skate.
"I felt great. It was good. Looking forward to tomorrow to get in some real practice," DiPietro said.
DiPietro, who will practice again tomorrow with the team, said he's relieved that the tightness he experienced seems to be fixed.
"It was an issue that we were dealing with for awhile that needed to be addressed. I saw some specialists, as [general manager Garth Snow] said. We figured some things out and I think we might've solved the problem," DiPietro said.
DiPietro said he doesn't expect the issue to further hamper his plans for a comeback.
"No. That's why I never considered it a setback," DiPietro said. "It was something I had been dealing with and we had to find out what we were dealing with. We found out and addressed it and it feels good so far."
DiPietro also said he's optimistic that he won't have to play through any of the tightness in the future.
"I hope not," DiPietro said. "It's been an issue we've been dealing with for awhile and I feel we finally got to the bottom of it. I feels good so far and it felt good today."
"After having so much work done you don't know if it's something you have to play through or whether its fixable. Luckily, so far it seems like something is fixed," DiPietro said.
As far as his plan from here on out, DiPietro, who has yet to play an entire game, at the AHL, said that would be "the next logical step."
"I'm sure they'll want me to get through a full game," DIPietro siad. "I'll practice this week , then get in a game, get through it healthy 100%."
DiPietro said he'd be more than willing to report to Bridgeport for another conditioning assignment.
"Whatever it takes to get back," DiPietro said. "I was almost through the rehab last time, so obviously if everything feels good and I feel like 1'm 100% next time I get out there, we'll see what happens."
Tim Jackman (hip pointer) will not be in the lineup tonight. He'll need to get through a full practice with the team (morning skate doesn't count) before his return is considered.
Sean Bergenheim also skated this morning before the rest of the team, his first time since suffering a rib injury against Philadelphia December 8.
Doug Weight is still a fair distance from returning. Gordon said he hasn't been nagging him because he can tell he's "not even close."
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