Penguins Notebook: Whitney not sure of date for return

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Defenseman Ryan Whitney was off crutches and wearing a walking boot when he joined his Penguins teammates for physicals yesterday.

On deck

• Wed. vs. Dodgers, 7:05
Zach Duke (5-14) vs. Chad Billingsley (15-10)
FSN/WPGB-FM (104.7)

• Thu. vs. Dodgers, 12:35
Paul Maholm (9-8) vs. Clayton Kershaw (4-5)
WPGB-FM (104.7)

• Fri. vs. Astros, 7:05
Ian Snell (6-11) vs. TBA
FSN/WPGB-FM (104.7)

Ticket information

Penguins training camp practices today, tomorrow and Friday, as well as the morning skate Saturday in advance of the preseason opener against Tampa Bay, are open to the public at Mellon Arena beginning at 9 a.m.

"It's coming along well," Whitney said of his left foot, which was surgically corrected Aug. 15.

"I saw the doctor [last week], and he said the X-rays look fantastic and the scars are healing nicely. I see him again in 2 1/2 weeks. Then you can really start strengthening it and do more weight-bearing exercises."

Whitney is hoping after that next doctor visit he'll have a better idea of when he can start skating and set a target date for returning.

He is expected to be out at least until mid-November and perhaps until January.

His foot became misshapen after he took, by his count, five or six slap shots off the top of it during a short stretch of the 2006-07 season.

"I'm born with very high arches, which had a lot to do with it, but the [shots I took], the doctors said really kind of showed the injury a lot and made it a lot worse," he said.

Whitney struggled all of 2007-08 and finished with 12 goals, 40 points, disappointing numbers for an offensive defenseman who was in the first year of a six-year, $24 million contract.

"Just everything skating [was affected]," he said.

"It's not sitting flat in the skate; it's sitting over to the side because of the way the foot was misshaped. It was frustrating."

Quick moves

After their prospects camp, the team reassigned Jean-Michel Daoust, Tommy Goebel and Elgin Reid to their Wilkes-Barre/Scranton minor league club, returned Jake Muzzin, Nathan Moon and Patrick Killeen to junior hockey and released Corey Cowick, Jason Legault and Cedric Lalonde-McNichol.


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