Kaleta ready to jump back in

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:34 PM ET

BUFFALO -- In Patrick Kaleta's world, a mask can do many things previously unknown.

"Just battling that cold and runny nose," the Buffalo Sabres forward said jokingly, telling reporters why he wore facial protection during practice Tuesday at HSBC Arena. "Nothing happened to my face."

Kaleta missed the majority of Game 3 against the Philadelphia Flyers with an upper-body injury after being dumped to the ice by Flyers defenceman Braydon Coburn. But, whatever the ailment might be, Kaleta said he will be in the Sabres lineup for Game 4 on Wednesday night.

"Pumped up, actually," the former Peterborough Pete said. "I didn't get to waste much energy (in Game 3) so it is all built up and I'm ready to get on the right path."

Sabres forwards Mike Grier and Tyler Ennis did not practise, but coach Lindy Ruff said each player had a maintenance day.

One Sabre who is not close to returning is centre Derek Roy, who had 35 points in 35 games when he suffered a knee injury in December. Roy is practising but cannot participate in contact drills. Any return before the end of April would be asking for too much.

"It's not frustrating, but it is tough watching and not playing," Roy said. "These guys are putting in the effort and working hard, and I have to be there for positive encouragement."

terry.koshan@sunmedia.ca

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