WILMINGTON -- Michael Ryder got back to work this afternoon and hopes to be back in the lineup within the next two-three weeks.
''First day back, always tough,'' said an exhausted Ryder, surrounded by print reporters and cameras after the one-hour workout. ''It will take a bit of work to get back into game shape.''
Ryder, clipped by Antoine Vermette's stick 10 days ago in Ottawa, said he initially feared he suffered eye damage. His eye turned out to be fine--despite a couple of days of blurred vision--but Vermette's stick broke both nose cartilage and the sinus bone.
''They said it was crushed like an eggshell,'' said Ryder, referring to the doctors' diagnonsis. ''It was pretty bad.''