Winger Kyle Okposo, who has been out with a detached retina since just after the All Star break, is set to skate with the Islanders this weekend according to a report from Arthur Staple of Newsday.
Okposo and new acquisition Tyler Kennedy will meet their teammates in Sunrise, Florida on Friday, and Okposo is expected to join the Islanders at their morning skate on Saturday before their game against the Panthers that evening.
Although he's not ready to return to game action yet, Okposo's presence will be a comforting one to the Islanders, who have gone 11-8-1 in his absence.
From Staple's report:
No one can pinpoint when he suffered the retina injury, or even if it came during a game. He had some pain in his right eye and went to get it checked out as the All-Star break began and before he was to travel to the Bahamas for former teammate Andrew MacDonald's wedding.
The surgery was sudden, and necessary for Okposo to have a chance to return before the end of the regular season. Now that he will practice with the team starting on Saturday, that return is much closer to happening, though it's unlikely that Okposo will play either against the Panthers on Saturday or in Toronto on Monday.
Kennedy has yet to play with his new team since being acquired from San Jose at the trade deadline for a hilariously conditional draft pick. He was pulled suddenly before Tuesday's game in Dallas, and was sent back to Long Island to see doctors about an upper body injury. Kennedy has a history of shoulder problems, but was playing for the Sharks before his trade.
The Islanders beat the Predators in Nashville on Thursday without Okposo, Kennedy, Mikhail Grabovski (concussion) and Matt Martin, who was suspended for a knee-on-knee collision with Stars defenseman Trevor Daley. Martin will be back Saturday.