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января 2003 года.
Afinogenov feels great after practice - Buffalo News
By TIM GRAHAM
The hockey player, a virtual stranger, couldn't contain his smile. He skated with the same speed and finesse to which fans had grown accustomed. His jersey, as usual, kept getting hung up on his hip pads as he breezed down the ice.
Maxim Afinogenov was finally back on the ice with the Buffalo Sabres.
For the first time since April, the talented right wing practiced with his teammates Wednesday in HP Pavilion. Afinogenov had been sidelined since suffering a concussion in Russia four months ago, right before the start of training camp.
"It's the first practice, and it's having fun with the guys," Afinogenov said. "There's a lot of excitement for that.
"It's a very short practice and we didn't do many drills. But I feel pretty good. We'll see how it goes."
Afinogenov hasn't quite been cleared for full contact and won't be on the ice when his teammates play the San Jose Sharks tonight.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said the speedy Olympian's first game back could be Jan. 24 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in HSBC Arena.
"If everything goes good this week I would anticipate him getting cleared (for full contact) next Tuesday," Ruff said. "Two or three days of contact in practice, and the doctors will clear him to play. We kind of have a target date of Jan. 24. That's possible.
"He's got to get into combative practices where we can bang him around a bit. Conditioning-wise I said weeks ago he was pretty close to where he was at the end of last year. It's going to be game timing and passing and competing at a high level, and part of that is hanging on to pucks and taking hits."
Heading into tonight's contest against the San Jose Sharks (10:30 p.m., Radio 107.7 FM), the Sabres have won only three fewer games in the past two weeks (five) than they won through the first three months of the season (eight). Afinogenov's return would provide yet another shot in the arm.
He was the Sabres' third-leading goal scorer last season with a career-high 21. He also had 19 assists.
Afinogenov, who has been skating by himself for several weeks, dismissed any notion he'll have trouble adjusting to the speed of the game. But the 23-year-old admitted the psychological effects of the injury could be difficult to overcome right away.
"I've played hockey all my life," Afinogenov said. "I don't think it's going to be so hard to get used to all the speed and the timing of the passes.
"I want to be ready mentally. It's an injury I've never had, and I hope
I get over that."
Страничка Максима Афиногенова
на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"
23 сентября. Максим Афиногенов: "Почувствовал российский
хоккей" // "Спорт-Экспресс"
13 марта. Максим Афиногенов: "Обмена пока не требую"
5 января. Максим Афиногенов:"Теперь есть повод позвать
земляков в ресторан" - "Спорт-Экспресс"
23 сентября. Максим Афиногенов: "Почувствовал российский хоккей" // "Спорт-Экспресс"
13 марта. Максим Афиногенов: "Обмена пока не требую" - Спорт-Экспресс
5 января. Максим Афиногенов:"Теперь есть повод позвать земляков в ресторан" - "Спорт-Экспресс"