AUDIO: Sergei remains out for a while

Sergei Kostitsyn’s rehabilitation from his ankle inury has been frustratingly slow for himself and his team.
Phillip MacCallum, Getty Images

• AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Tomas Plekanec | Glen Metropolit | Ryan O’Byrne

The Canadiens returned to practice this morning, officially skating for the first time since Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils.

The big news of the day: Sergei Kostitsyn remains on the sidelines with an injured left ankle. He’s not skated with the team since withdrawing from pregame warmup on New Year’s Eve in Florida.

Head coach Jacques Martin said today that Kostitsyn is not making the progress the team had hoped for, and that he would be out through this weekend, perhaps at least. So don’t look for him Thursday at home vs. Dallas, Saturday at home vs. Ottawa or Sunday in New York vs. the Rangers.

Defenceman Ryan O’Byrne returned to the team for practice, having spent some time out west with an ailing family member. He’ll be in the lineup Thursday. Georges Laraque, who missed the last game with an upper-body injury, practised.

At 9:40 am, 80 minutes before the scheduled start of the session, goalies Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak, with forwards Tomas Plekanec and Maxim Lapierre, were on Bell Centre ice, working with goaltending coach Pierre Groulx to drill the Habs’ two netminders.

The team had visits planned to the Ste. Justine and Montreal Childrens hospitals this afternoon.

A running stream of practice updates are here, on Twitter.

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