Dec 7, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz (14) and left wing James Neal (18) celebrate a goal against the Boston Bruins during the first period at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Pens Injury Report 3/14: Neal, Vokoun Absent from Practice


Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Chris Kunitz was reportedly back at practice Friday, however, forward James Neal and goaltender Tomas Vokoun were not – according to the Pens’ Twitter handle.

On Thursday, both Kunitz and Neal were allegedly given maintenance days – according to head coach Dan Bylsma – but that they each would be re-evaluated today.

Kunitz banged his leg pretty hard on the goalpost against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, yet was still able to finish the game unscathed. The news that he was back at practice today is alleviating, considering any long-term ailment would have certainly been devastating.

Now, in Neal’s case, there’s a little more cause-for-concern.

There’s no information regarding an injury, and we don’t know why he’s been out the last two days. Neal looks as though he didn’t even participate in the Pens’ annual “Skates for Plates” event held yesterday. Or, at least he’s not in any of the photo galleries on the Pens’ website that he did.

Hard to report what’s exactly wrong with Neal, so, for now, we’ll just have to stand pat until further information is relayed.

As for Vokoun, he perhaps may be just receiving a breather. Practicing yesterday with the squad – per the Pens’ Twitter – the team is probably still taking it easy with the veteran netminder.

Although Vokoun intends on returning at some point this season, I find it difficult to believe he’ll be able to contribute. Yet to perform in a single game, I’m confident he can be re-inserted, just have doubts as to how much he’ll play.

Stay tuned for more updates on Neal and Vokoun in the coming days.

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