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Josh Bailey Returns to Ice with Islanders after Quarantining in Florida



Josh Bailey

It’s felt like forever since the New York Islanders received some good news, but the return of Josh Bailey to the ice certainly fit that category.

After a week of seemly bad news on a daily basis, the Islanders had one of the seven players in COVID protocol return to the ice. The good news only goes so far since Josh Bailey will not be available for Friday’s meeting with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“It was great to see him come in,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “He skated with us today. He’ll skate tomorrow and we’re hoping that, if everything goes right and he feels good, we can get him back for the Ranger game.”

The Islanders face the Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Josh Bailey was first placed in COVID protocol on Nov. 16 prior to the Islanders’ matchup with the Florida Panthers. It was the start of a week that would see seven other players be placed in protocol, with only Anthony Beauvillier coming out of it right away because of a false-positive result.

Anders Lee, Ross Johnston, Andy Greene, Kieffer Bellows, Zdeno Chara and Adam Pelech are the six remaining players in protocol. There was no sense of when the others might be able to return to the ice.

“We’re in constant contact (with the players),” Trotz said. “Me personally, I try to text the guys and see how their feeling every day. Talk to one or two of them. We’ve got a mixed bags in there. Some guys got hit with it hard and some guys  really not a lot of symptoms. But they can’t get the negative test. It’s all on an individual basis really.

“Hopefully in the next couple of days, we’ll get a few more out, at least back skating.”

The Islanders are the fourth NHL team this season to have to deal with COVID issues.

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