Spezza feels pain, wants to return soon


, Last Updated: 9:09 PM ET

From an uncomfortable seat in the press box, Jason Spezza feels the pain his teammates are going through each night.

It wont be long now before hes able to help them try and relieve it.

The Senators, who have won just one of 12 games since Spezza suffered a shoulder injury on Boxing Day, were joined by their top centre for practice Monday. Spezza, who has been skating on his own the past week or so, is ahead of schedule and could be ready to play in one of the first games after the all-star break.

The Senators have scored just 20 goals in the dozen games Spezza has missed six of them were in one night.

Its been really tough, Spezza said of watching the losses pile up. You feel for the guys. You want to get out there and help. I know, because Im around the guys, how much theyre gripping their sticks. How badly everybody wants to be doing better. When youre not playing, you hear the perception a little bit, of guys quitting and stuff ... and as a player, I know thats not the case at all.

Were taking some bad beatings, and thats what everybody is talking about, and I feel bad, because you wish you could help. The guys are going out and working hard, and really trying to find the answers, and not succeeding with it yet. Its really tough watching.


LW Jarkko Ruutu is expected to miss two weeks with a lower-body injury ... D Matt Carkner will return Tuesday after missing one game with a lower-body injury ... Former Gatineau Olympiques star Paul Byron is expected to be in the Sabres lineup Tuesday for what would be his first NHL game in his hometown.