Shoulder mean to Dean

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

The Senators had a full house during practice yesterday at Scotiabank Place.

For the first time since the season started, all 22 players were on the ice for the Senators during their lengthy workout, but that doesn't necessarily mean everybody will be ready for Saturday's visit to New Jersey.

While Dean McAmmond has recovered from the concussion he suffered last month on a dirty hit by Philadelphia's Steve Downie, the Senators winger is still troubled by a sore shoulder.

While he passed baseline testing for his concussion before the club left on a three-day retreat in Muskoka, McAmmond isn't optimistic about suiting up against the Devils at the Prudential Center.

"I am clear (for the concussion)," McAmmond said following a the workout at Scotiabank Place, "but the shoulder, I'm still really struggling with. It feels really good, passing and shooting, but there's a lot of in-tight stuff and reaching out (that he can't do).

"It's still a little weak, so we're going to have to see. I thought it would progress a lot quicker because the first week it was really good. But this last little bit (it hasn't gotten better).

"Mostly right now it's a little bit of strength and range. Once it all comes back I can strengthen it even more. I was in there doing weights in the gym and I could only do a third of the exercises."

WON'T BE RUSHED

The Senators were hoping the week-long break in the schedule would be enough to get McAmmond back in the lineup against the Devils, but it would appear he might have to wait until a Nov. 1 visit by the Thrashers before suiting up for his first regular-season game.

The Senators won't rush him back and there really isn't any need to.

The signing of centre Randy Robitaille has given the club some much-needed depth and winger Antoine Vermette, who missed Saturday's 4-1 victory over Florida with back spasms, will play Saturday.

"It's nothing close to what it used to be. It feels pretty good. I gave it a good test (yesterday at practice) and I'm pretty happy about that," said Vermette. "The schedule allows us to be a little bit smart about the situation.

"There's no good time to get hurt, but if I had to pick one spot in the season, this would probably be good."

ROSTER MOVE LOOMS

Once McAmmond and Vermette are both ready to play, Senators GM Bryan Murray and coach John Paddock will have to decide if they're going to have to make a roster move.

Paddock said nothing has been discussed, but with the club sitting close to the NHL's $50.3-million cap, it wouldn't be a surprise if a player gets sent to the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton.

"That's something you'd have to speak to (Murray) about," said Paddock. "We haven't discussed it."

But judging by McAmmond's issues with his shoulder, the Senators won't be making that decision any time soon.


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