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8/29/2006 10:30:59 AM

A report in the Buffalo news indicates that Sabres centre Tim Connolly, who has been plagued by concussion problems in his young career, is not likely to be ready to start training camp this season due to his latest concussion.

Connolly suffered the concussion on May 8, when Ottawa Senators winger Peter Schaefer caught him with an open-ice hit, and Sabres general manager Darcy Regier told the paper that Connolly may not be cleared to participate in time for the start of camp.

"It would be great if he was, but we realize it's a possibility he may not be ready for camp," said Regier, "It's possible. We're not ruling it out, but it really is one of those things that we'll monitor, and we'll just move along as time moves along."

Connolly missed the entire 2003-2004 season with a concussion, but returned to action last year and scored a number of highlight-reel goals on his way to accumulating 55 points in 63 games.

The Sabres re-signed Connolly to a three-year, $8.7-million deal in July, apparently aware of the possibility that Connolly might not be ready for the start of this season.

At this point, though, the Sabres are just hoping for Connolly to be symptom-free before attempting to get back on the ice.

"He's not doing anything as far as working out or on-ice," Regier told the Buffalo News. "It's across the board. They want to make sure he's totally symptom-free before they get him exercising again."

The 25 year-old pivot has recorded 200 points in 388 career games, and added 11 points in eight playoff games last spring before getting injured.

The Sabres have already been thinned out up front this summer, with Mike Grier leaving as a free agent, Taylor Pyatt getting traded to Vancouver and J.P. Dumont on the open market after the Sabres walked away from his arbitration award.

With so many departures, it will leave spots open for young players like Derek Roy and Jason Pominville to take on greater roles, while Drew Stafford and Jiri Novotny could be among the newcomers to crack the Sabres forward ranks.

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That really sucks. I remember watching that game.

As soon as Schaefer cut inside and caught him with his head down, I went "oh no!":eek: , since I knew he missed the whole of 2003 (and some of 2004) with a concussion.

It was a great hit, no doubt, but I knew he was out for the playoffs.

Anyway, hopefully he recovers can returns to playing again.
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