Comments from Staal about his return


Center JORDAN STAAL couldn’t stop smiling Saturday morning. He had good reason, as his long-awaited return will come for the Winter Classic tonight.

Staal, who hasn’t played this season, was even in a joking mood.

“Even you weren’t too bad during it,” he said, a reference to constant media attention about his status dating to the discovery last summer that his surgically-repaired right foot was infected.

Another infection would require a third surgery on that foot, and just when Staal was set to return in early November his right hand was broken by a puck.

“It was just crazy,” he said. “It really took me a couple of days to believe what was actually happening, that I wasn’t coming back.”

Staal added that he had not set the Classic, which will be played tonight because of rain this afternoon, as a comeback date. He only resumed practicing with teammates last Sunday.

“I wanted to come back as soon as I could,” he said. “This just kind of worked out.”

The Penguins didn’t escape their morning practice today without injury. Winger¬†CRAIG ADAMS¬†right hand was sliced and required stitches when his stick broke on a faceoff and cut the inside of his glove. It is not know if Adams will be available for the game.