For a few minutes Tuesday while his teammates practiced at Consol Energy Center, defenseman Kris Letang watched from the bench wearing a Pirates hat, a T-shirt and shorts -- but no brace or wrappings on his legs.
Letang, who got what is believed to be a knee injury toward the end of practice Friday, does not appear to have a serious problem.
"I don't believe at this point in time that it's a long-term, down-the-road injury," coach Dan Bylsma said. "We're not putting a date on it."
Letang, a Norris Trophy finalist last season, was placed on injured reserve Monday, but it was not retroactive, meaning under NHL rules he can't come off the list until early next week and must sit out at least the Penguins' first two games -- the season opener Thursday against New Jersey and the Saturday game against Buffalo, both at home.
Another injured player, goaltender Tomas Vokoun, also was at the arena while his teammates practiced.
Vokoun has been out since he had a procedure Sept. 21 to dissolve a blood clot in his pelvis.
"We're hoping to have more information, an update on him, in the next day or two," Bylsma said. "There are more tests and more situations he's going through. I think the doctor has OK'd him to do light workouts."
What Vokoun and the Penguins learn could determine whether he is put on the long-term injured-reserve list, which means he would be required to miss at least 10 games and 24 days. He was placed on standard injured reserve Monday, the same time as Letang.
Maatta hopes to stay here
Defenseman Olli Maatta cleared one hurdle when he was not returned to his junior club, the London Knights, Monday as teams submitted rosters to the NHL that complied with size limits and the salary cap.
Although he can play up to nine games and still be returned to juniors, Maatta would like to stick in the NHL all season.
"That's my goal," he said. "I knew I played well in exhibition games. I had a good camp. I knew I might have a chance to be here for a few games. I'm real happy about [still being on the roster], but I've got to still work on my game and improve my game so I can stay here."
Maatta, 19, was a first-round draft pick in 2012.
There is no guarantee, of course, that Maatta will remain beyond nine games -- or even for the Thursday opener. Bylsma said he wouldn't speculate on that, but the coach had glowing things to say about Maatta's training camp after the team's management got scouting reports that said he was NHL-ready.
"He's certainly had an opportunity to show that," Bylsma said. "He earned more opportunity with his play in exhibition games in training camp. You see the kind of defenseman he is, how he can skate, how he can defend, [his strength], how he skates and then how he can play with the puck, move the puck out of trouble, execute up ice."
Maatta is not eligible to play in the American Hockey League this season.
Conversely, defenseman Simon Despres, a first-round pick in 2009, was sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.
Bylsma said that move was largely -- but not solely -- based on the fact that Despres does not have to clear waivers to move between the NHL and AHL. It also was based, at least in part, on Despres' performance in training camp.
"It is related to both," Bylsma said.
More injury, roster updates
Winger Matt D'Agostini, who seemed to be close to securing a spot on the third line before he got an unspecified injury in training camp, worked out off-ice Tuesday after skating on his own over the weekend. Bylsma said D'Agostini "slowed in his progression," but he has not been placed on injured reserve.
Two other players on the roster did not practice. Bylsma said winger Chris Conner had a "maintenance day" and defenseman was still traveling from Wilkes-Barre after being recalled Monday.
Kobasew still here, unsigned
Winger Chuck Kobasew continued to practice with the club and skated on the third line. He is not eligible to play unless he signs a contract. He declined to say whether negotiations are taking place.
"I came here on a tryout ... with the intention of trying to make the team," Kobasew said. "This is kind of an extension of it. I'm here as long as they want me here, and then we'll see what happens."
Kobasew, 31, has played 568 NHL games for four teams. He had a strong training camp.
"Love it here," he said. "The guys have been great. I've said from day one it's a great opportunity just to come and be a part of this training camp, having a chance to be a part of this team. I'm still working toward that."
Shelly Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly. First Published October 2, 2013 4:00 AM