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Devils center Travis Zajac is ready to practice, and his 2017-18 debut could be right around the corner.

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NEWARK — Devils forward Travis Zajac has been cleared the practice and play, and his 2017-18 season debut could come in the next week.

Zajac didn’t play in Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers, and he will not travel with the team to Chicago for Sunday’s game against the Blackhawks. But Zajac will travel with the Devils for a three-game road trip to Toronto, Winnipeg and Minnesota starting on Thursday.

Devils coach John Hynes anticipates getting his veteran center back in the lineup during that stretch.

“It’s nice to see him come back,” Hynes said. “You’ve got Boyle coming back, Palmieri coming back, I think it’s exciting when your leaders and a guy that is a real big part of our team and is an excellent player to come back and be able to be on verge on playing in games, is exciting for him.”

When Zajac underwent August surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle, he had a 4-6 month recovery timetable. A mid-November return would put him back in the lineup three months after surgery, exceeding even the most optimistic projection.

“I will take it a day at a time,” Zajac said. “I’ve been skating a while, just not with the guys. It’s more just now getting some practices where I can skate through some bodies and bump a little bit. I missed all of training camp so the next week is going to be important for me.”

Zajac will get practices on Tuesday and Wednesday to get further acclimated, and if he doesn’t play on Thursday against the Maple Leafs, he should get another chance to practice prior to Saturday’s game against Winnipeg.

The center has been skating on his own …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real -Time Sports

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