Josh Bailey Eyes Return to Islanders Lineup After Knee Injury

Kevin Schultz

SYOSSET, NY — For Josh Bailey, it’s been a long road back after sustaining a knee injury that sidelined him for the first few weeks of the season, but it looks as if he will finally have a chance to return to the Islanders lineup Saturday against Buffalo.

“I feel great, it’s been a lot of hard work over the last couple weeks but I feel ready to go,” said Bailey after skating at Islanders practice today, as he continues to make his return from the knee injury. He sustained the injury just before the lockout ended, while playing in Germany. “We’ll see what Cappy and the coaches say but I’m excited and hoping to be in tomorrow night.”

Bailey has had to miss the Islanders’ first ten games due to the injury, and has floated around to different lines at practice this week. Earlier in the week he was splitting time with Brad Boyes on the first line wing. Today, Bailey took Kyle Okposo’s wing spot on the second line. Okposo missed practice with an undisclosed illness.

“It’s always frustrating to have to watch the games, no one wants to do that,” he said discussing his time in the press box. “You want to be involved and part of the team and ultimately helping the team.”

Bailey could help the team and provide a much needed offensive spark. After moving to the wing towards the end of last season, Bailey had 13 points (3G, 10A) in his final 11 games. Prior to that, he had played much of the season at center and was largely unproductive, with only 19 points in the first 69 games of the year.

“There’s ten games down already. It’s gonna be a quick season, you got to make things happen right away,” Bailey said. “Just stay positive here and find a way to get back to winning ways.”

On Saturday we may find out what offense, if any, Bailey can provide to help the Islanders break out of a three-game losing streak.