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Staal, Vitale Game-Time Decisions

By: Chris Gates
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Penguins forwards Jordan Staal and Joe Vitale will be game-time decisions for tonight’s game at Ottawa, coach Dan Bylsma said after Thursday’s practice.

Neither player’s injury has been disclosed.

Defenseman Zbynek Michalek practiced again Thursday, and barring the return of any concussion symptoms he is expected to play tonight. Michalek has been out since Nov. 26 with a concussion.

Defenseman Kris Letang suffered a concussion on Nov. 26 as well and still hasn’t returned to practice, nor has Sidney Crosby or Robert Bortuzzo, who both are out with the same injury and haven’t practiced this week.

“You just don’t know if a guy is going to be one week, two weeks, or out longer,” Bylsma said after practice. “That uncertainty makes it tough to plan in terms of down the road. You get an injury that typically takes 2-3 weeks and a timeframe that you know, you can plan for the month of December without a guy with a broken foot. You know that.

“The uncertainty of it is difficult. You don’t know when they’ll come back. You don’t focus on this week or next few games when you have the uncertainty of an injury that Kris Letang has.”

Brian Strait practiced with the team again Thursday. He is not making the trip to Ottawa, but he said his hyperextended elbow is feeling much better and he’s working toward returning.

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