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High-ankle sprain sends Penguins' Kennedy back to the bench

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Friday, Feb. 10, 2012

Tyler Kennedy likely will miss at least the next month with a high-ankle sprain, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. Kennedy was injured Sunday in New Jersey.

"After a week we'll probably have a better idea and time frame," said Bylsma, who estimated Thursday that the right wing could miss four to six weeks.

With 2:21 left in the third period Sunday, Kennedy collided with Devils forward Alexei Ponikarovsky and the boards behind the net. Kennedy has six goals and 16 assists in 42 games. He also missed a month earlier this season with a concussion.

> > Jordan Staal sustained another injury, but this one won't keep him off the ice. Staal, who has been rehabbing a knee injury, needed stitches after being hit with a stick in the face during practice.

"He'll be fine," Bylsma said.

Staal hasn't played since injuring his left medial collateral ligament Jan. 6, but there's a chance he could be in the lineup this weekend. Depending on Staal's status, the team likely will recall an extra forward or two before Saturday's game with Winnipeg.

> > Defenseman Simon Despres, who also has been rehabbing an injured MCL, said he "tweaked" that injured right knee during Thursday's practice. Despres was eager to see how the knee felt today.

"It's part of coming back," he said. "You're pushing your body. When you don't have those tweaks, you know you're ready."

Despres was injured Jan. 10.

> > Sidney Crosby and Arron Asham skated before practice. Bylsma called it "a step in the right direction" for Asham, who hadn't skated since experiencing concussion symptoms Jan. 15.

> > The Penguins play six of their next eight games at home, including the next three.

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