Zach Bogosian is ready.
After missing the past six games with a shoulder injury, the Thrashers defenseman will be back in the lineup Friday against the Sabres.
“It feels good to be going,” Bogosian said Friday morning. “I was out for not too, too long, but long enough where I’m antsy to get back. It’s feeling pretty good and I have a chance to shoot a lot of pucks in the last few days to get ready for the game.”
The injury was to Bogosian’s left shoulder. It did not prevent him from practicing and shooting pucks, but he needed to be completely healed before getting back on the ice and delivering hits.
“I try to be a physical presence and if you want to be physical player out there you have to use your shoulders,” Bogosian said. “You have to make sure you’re ready to come back from an injury like this. …You can’t favor one shoulder when you are playing hockey.”
Bogosian injured his shoulder in the first period against Los Angeles on Oct. 12. He did not make road trips to Washington and New York.
Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay is hoping Bogosian’s return will be a spark. The Thrashers are playing their second of three games in four nights.
“It will be nice to see Zach play,” Ramsay said. “He’s a big man. He’s got a pretty big shot back there. We are hoping for a little enthusiasm. That’s the great thing when players actually miss games they often come back with a great feel, like they have a lot of jump in them. We are really hoping that he brings that. We’ve been busy with three games in four nights. It’s nice to get another fresh body back.”
Bogosian said it was difficult being out, but he used the time as a learning experience.
“It’s never fun sitting up in the press box,” Bogosian said. “You just have to use it to your advantage. As bad as a feeling as it is to be up there, you have to realize that it’s a place where you can learn. You can see a lot of plays develop up there that you don’t see on the bench. Up there it’s a lot slower and easier to see plays develop.”
With Bogosian back in the lineup, Noah Welch will be the healthy scratch. Freddy Meyer did not practice on Friday, the fourth straight session he has missed with a mid-body injury. Meyer was injured against Washington last week.
Ramsay said there was no timetable for Meyer’s return.
“Freddy is sore,” Ramsay said. “They are pushing him, but he’s been pretty sore. We are not going to rush anybody back this time of year. Freddy has done a good job for us and we are going to make sure he’s ready when he steps back out there.”