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Andrew Ladd's return from injury remains uncertain

Andrew Ladd speaks with the media after Islanders

Andrew Ladd speaks with the media after Islanders player exit interviews at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow on Sunday, April 8, 2018. Credit: James Escher

Lou Lamoriello can’t predict when Andrew Ladd will return, nor would he specify the left wing’s injury. At the same time, the Islanders’ president and general manager does not believe Ladd’s absence will be a long-term situation.

Ladd, 32, missed his 10th straight practice Thursday, though he has skated sporadically on his own, and almost certainly will not be ready for the season opener on Thursday as he enters the third season of a seven-year, $38.5-million deal that looks increasingly worse for the organization.

“There’s no update other than it’s day-to-day,” Lamoriello said. “He has skated some days and has felt better and, the next day, he didn’t feel as good, so it’ll just be an ongoing process. It’s going to be up to his own timetable.”

Lamoriello said placing Ladd, who had 12 goals and 17 assists in 73 games last season while battling a back issue, on injured reserve or long-term injured reserve is not currently under consideration.

“Not at this point, only because we don’t know and we’ve got time on our side,” Lamoriello said.

The Islanders conclude their eight-game preseason schedule on Friday night against the Sabres in Oshawa, Ontario.

The Islanders are 5-2-0, but Lamoriello said it will be tough to accurately assess the progress the team has made under new coach Barry Trotz — specifically improving the defense, which allowed an NHL-worst 293 goals last season — until about 10 games into the regular season.

“The work ethic is there, the concentration, the receptiveness of trying to do something,” Lamoriello said. “There’s no question in my mind from watching film our end is more structured right now, more patient. I think the players are concentrating on that. There’s no question there’s an emphasis on defense.”

Notes & quotes: Trotz said goalies Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss will play in the preseason finale . . . Lamoriello said goalie prospect Linus Soderstrom, 22, a fourth-round pick in 2014, has not resumed skating after a shoulder injury limited him to 14 games last season in the Swedish Hockey League and prevented him from participating in the Isles’ summer development camp, rookie camp or training camp. “He’s had some physical problems that he’s had for years,” Lamoriello said. “He’s rehabbing in Sweden with a specialist. He has not been on the ice. I’ve been told it’s going to take . . . time. That’s the best we know.”

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