Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Malone is battling injury yet again, but it looks like he’ll be ready for the season opener.
Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times reports Malone is working through an upper body issue that will keep him out of their preseason finale tonight against Florida. Coach Jon Cooper says, however, that Malone should be ready for the season opener on Thursday against Boston.
Malone tells Missy Zielinski of the Lightning website it’s all about making sure he’s good to go for the regular season.
“We just thought it was best to kind of relax and make sure everything’s still good,” Malone said. “There’s really no concern, it is just part of the plan to make sure you’re ready for game one.”
Malone is a key component of Tampa Bay’s forward attack but staying healthy has always been an issue in his career.
Last season he missed 24 games, half of the schedule, and has missed a total of 91 games in his five seasons with the Lightning. If missing a preseason game helps keep him in the lineup when the games count, the team will take it.