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Islanders power forward Kyle Okposo skates in first full team practice of season


James O’Brien

Although the New York Islanders started the 2010-11 season with some scrappy promise, it seems true that the team’s hopes were indeed crushed in the preseason when lifeblood defenseman Mark Streit and budding power forward Kyle Okposo went down with significant injuries. The already limited team lost its best defenseman and one of its most important forwards before the first puck was dropped on the season.

While the team still labels Okposo “week-to-week” and won’t provide a genuine time table for his return, the young player reached a milestone of sorts by skating in his first full team practice since suffering the shoulder injury this morning.

Considering the fact that the Islanders are deep in the league’s cellar (they’re currently the second worst team in the NHL, only ahead of the dreadful New Jersey Devils), it would be wise for the team to practice due diligence with his return. Surely Okposo is chomping at the bit to get back into game action, but if the team feels that he isn’t ready to return at all this season, they shouldn’t rush him back.

When you take into account the rough road to recovery for goalie Rick DiPietro, the team has clear examples of how long it can take for a player to make it back from injury. On the bright side, Okposo is suffering from shoulder problems rather than DiPietro’s knee issues, so it’s something that isn’t as likely to be a recurring problem. (At least it seems that way; we are not a house of learned doctors here at PHT.)

Much like the Islanders themselves, we’ll play the wait-and-see game regarding Okposo’s condition.