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Sports

January 10, 2013

Sabres, NHL are back to work

Sabres hit the ice in Amherst on Thursday for first official practice

AMHERST —  

Calling his injured ankle fully healed, Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers complained that the only thing slowing him down Thursday was jet lag.

"A little rusty," Myers said. "I'm sucking wind a little bit today, but it'll get better."

After spending much of Tuesday traveling home from Austria, where he had been playing during the NHL lockout, Myers became the latest Sabre to rejoin his teammates for a series of informal practices being held this week at the Northtown Center.

Most important, Myers said he's ready for the start of the regular season that's expected to open in 10 days, and is fully recovered from a high ankle sprain he sustained early last month.

"Yeah, it's fine," Myers said. "I made sure it was ready to go before I came back. I'm feeling 100 percent right now."

Playing for Austria's Klagenfurter AC, Myers twisted his ankle while attempting to defend an opponent driving to the net during a game in early December. He missed about a month before returning to play one game last week.

"It got me a little nervous at the start, but once we figured out what it was, I knew it would be pretty quick," Myers said. "I didn't want to push it to try to come back too early in case the season did come back."

Myers showed no sign of the injury bothering him during the 90-minute session that featured about a dozen Sabres. He had no trouble starting or stopping, or making crossover steps during drills in which he battled for puck possession in the corners and behind the net.

And the 6-foot-8 Myers showed the familiar acceleration and catch-up speed that makes him one of the team's most fluid skaters.

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