Sabres unsure when Ruff will return from broken ribs: “It’s certainly very painful”

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Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier told reporters Lindy Ruff is “day-to-day” after breaking three ribs in a practice collision with Jordan Leopold, yet is unsure when the Sabres head coach will be back behind the bench.

“Based on this morning, it’s certainly very painful. He was in a lot of pain,” Regier said. “He’s in a good mood, as good as he can be. But he’s talking pretty quietly for obvious reasons.”

After yesterday’s X-rays revealed the broken ribs, the Sabres said Ruff would be back at practice on Tuesday as the team prepped for Wednesday’s big game against the Boston Bruins. But after only getting four hours of sleep and dealing with considerable amounts of pain, Ruff made the decision to stay home.

In his absence, assistant coach James Patrick ran practice — if Ruff can’t go on Wednesday, Patrick would take over as interim coach.

The last time Ruff missed a game was in March 2006  to be with his daughter, Madeleine, after she’d fallen ill. Assistants Scott Arniel and Brian McCutcheon were in charge for that game, a 5-0 loss to Atlanta.