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Sabres’ Kozlov to Miss Rest of Year

March 9, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Buffalo Sabres forward Slava Kozlov will miss the rest of the regular season, slowly recovering after tearing his left Achilles’ tendon in December.

Although Kozlov has been cleared to walk on his own, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Saturday that it will be about a month before he will be able to skate. The Sabres are battling to remain in playoff contention.

``I think we were hoping that maybe it would be one of those cases where he would get back sooner than later,″ Ruff said. ``But it’s still something that’s very serious. And he’s got to be sure at every point along his therapy that, number one, Slava is healed and we’re not putting him in jeopardy.″

A six-time 20-goal-scorer, Kozlov was being counted upon to bolster the Sabres offense when he was acquired last July in a trade that sent goaltender Dominik Hasek to Detroit.

After a slow start, in which he had five goals and six points in his first 25 games, Kozlov rebounded, scoring four goals and 16 points in 13 games before getting hurt in a game against Columbus on Dec. 29.

Kozlov sustained a deep cut, which required about 60 stitches to close, across his lower left leg when he was inadvertently slashed by the skate of Columbus center Tyler Wright.

Kozlov has one year left on his contract.

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