Franson (foot) will return to Buffalo's lineup for Saturday's game against the Blues, John Vogl of The Buffalo News reports.
Franson was initially projected to miss 2-to-3 weeks with a bone bruise in his foot, but the blueliner was able to skate Wednesday and Thursday, and he's evidently already overcome the injury after a single week of rehab. The Sabres will be happy to have the puck-moving defenseman back in their lineup against St. Louis, as he was on a roll before sustaining the injury, notching seven points (two goals, five assists) in his last 10 games.
Franson (foot) could return to the lineup for one of Buffalo's games this weekend, Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
Franson was initially expected to miss 2-to-3 weeks with the injury, which pegged him for a return later in the month. However, after skating both Wednesday and Thursday, Franson could be back as early as Saturday against St. Louis. While his statline may not jump off the page (16 points in 51 games), Franson is a solid puck-moving defenseman who can provide some value in deeper leagues.
While Franson hadn't been placed on IR as of Saturday morning, his lengthy return timetable makes it probable that he'll end up in that very spot. As noted in the report, the bruising defender should return around the NHL's trade deadline, and coincidentally he'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer -- this makes him a potential rental player for other clubs.
The injury comes at an inopportune time for Franson and his owners, as the 29-year-old blueliner has been playing well recently, notching seven points (two goals, five assists) in his last 10 games while averaging just under a minute of ice time on the man advantage per contest over that span. Franson has only officially been ruled out of Buffalo's next two tilts, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him miss at least a few more games after Sunday's meeting with Vancouver. A more clear-cut timetable for his return to the
Franson notched two assists, a plus-2 rating and two PIM in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win against Nashville.
Both of his second-period helpers were big ones, as they came on goals that tied the game at 1-1 and 2-2 at the time. It's been a season of frustration for the veteran blueliner, but Franson's now got a three-game point streak going (one goal, three assists, plus-3). Unfortunately for hopeful fantasy owners, his recent track record doesn't suggest he has the capability to keep piling points up at a fast pace.