Brian Gionta ‘cautiously optimistic’ that he’ll return Monday (Updated)

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The Buffalo Sabres have had terrible luck on the injury front so far this season, but the news hasn’t been all bad.

Sabres captain Brian Gionta took part in Sunday’s practice and was “cautiously optimistic” about his chances of making his season debut on Monday.

“I felt great, today was a good day, I progressed well so it felt good to get out there with the guys and we’ll see how things respond tomorrow,” he told the Sabres’ website.

If he does play on Monday it will probably be on a line with Evander Kane and Jack Eichel. At the age of 36, Gionta is over a decade older than Kane and has nearly two decades of seniority over Eichel.

Gionta sustained a lower-body injury just before the start of the 2015-16 campaign and was forced to watch as the Sabres fell to Ottawa and Tampa Bay in its opening contests.

Buffalo will host Columbus at 3:00 p.m. ET. Like the Sabres, the Blue Jackets are searching for their first win.