New York Rangers center Tyler Motte looks on aWinnipeg Jets...

New York Rangers center Tyler Motte looks on aWinnipeg Jets in the third period of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

BUFFALO — The Rangers are getting closer and closer to being whole.

Forward Tyler Motte returned to the lineup Saturday against the Sabres after missing two games with an upper-body injury that might have been a concussion.

Motte was a game-time decision, according to Gerard Gallant. He took pregame warm-ups and the team decided he was good to go.

Motte had one shot in 10:10 of ice time.

Defenseman Ryan Lindgren missed his sixth game with an upper-body injury, believed to be a left shoulder problem. Lindgren has made strides in the past week, from skating on his own Tuesday to skating at practice wearing a non-contact jersey Wednesday to practicing full-contact Friday.

Motte was injured when he was shouldered and elbowed in the chin by Ottawa forward Austin Watson in a game at Madison Square Garden on March 2. Watson was given a five-minute major penalty and ejected.

Motte missed the next game, March 4 in Boston, but returned to practice Tuesday in a non-contact jersey and went full-contact Wednesday. However, he did not play Thursday in Montreal in the opener of the current road trip.

Gallant was asked before the game if he had considered holding Motte out for Saturday’s game

. “The medical guys tell me when they’re ready,’’ he said. “If he comes out after warm-up and Rammer [athletic trainer Jim Ramsay] comes and tells me he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go.’’

Forward Jonny Brodzinski, the emergency call-up from AHL Hartford who played Thursday in Montreal, was scratched. According to NHL rules, he must be returned to Hartford now that Motte is healthy, but the Rangers did not immediately announce a roster move on Saturday.

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