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Islanders Likely to Keep Anders Lee out of First Few Preseason Games

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Anders Lee

There may not be any restrictions on what Anders Lee can do in training camp, but the New York Islanders still plan to play it safe when it comes to his participation in preseason games.

Head coach Barry Trotz revealed on Friday that he was leaning towards limiting the use of Lee early in the preseason. Lee is returning from ACL surgery to repair an injury he suffered in March against the New Jersey Devils that ended his season.

“I think Anders, especially with the legs and knees and those type of things that had major surgery, will I play him early? Probably not,” Trotz said during a Zoom call. “Probably just make sure through the workload of skating. The workload of the practices. The workload of people leaning on him a little bit more than when he was training when were in the playoffs last year in Tampa.

“He’s trained hard and he feels ready.”

Before Trotz throws Anders Lee back out there in game situations, the Islanders coach wants to make sure that Lee has his confidence back fully.

“You have to have that confidence that that knee can sustain,” Trotz said. “Today was a good day. Him and (Zdeno Chara) were doing a drill and they both ran into each other and there was a big crash of bodies. Between the two of them, there was well over 500 pounds and (Lee) didn’t flinch. That has to add to his confidence that the knee can hold up.”

While Trotz reiterated that he might keep the Islanders captain out of the first few preseason games, he did say that Lee would likely play in the three or four of the Islanders exhibition contests.

The Islanders open their preseason schedule on Sunday at Madison Square Garden and then travel to Philadelphia on Tuesday. Their first home preseason game will take place on Saturday afternoon at Webster Bank Arena.

The first game that Lee could be back on the ice for game action would be Saturday against the New Jersey Devils or Tuesday, Oct. 5 against Philadelphia. Both games will be played in Bridgeport.

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