DALLAS — Dallas Stars defenseman Patrik Nemeth will play his first game in four months Friday night, joining the Texas Stars against the Rochester Americans.
He hasn’t played since Dallas’ game on Oct. 18, when he suffered a cut forearm by R.J. Umberger’s skate. The injury was originally expected to sideline him for the remainder of the regular season.
“It’s going to be great. I’ve been looking forward to this for several months now,” Nemeth said while packing his gear after the Dallas Stars’ morning practice Thursday. “To be able to play in mid-February (after the injury) is something I never imagined.”
The plan is for Nemeth to play at least three AHL games with Texas — against Rochester, the Toronto Marlies and Oklahoma City Barons on the road, and possibly Feb. 27 and 28 at home against the Rockford IceHogs.
“There’s a pretty good possibility I’ll play those two games (against Rockford),” Nemeth said. “We’ll see where I’m at after the Oklahoma City game and go from there.”
Nemeth, who will wear a Kevlar undershirt to protect against future wrist injuries, said the key to his conditioning stint is developing comfort in game situations.
“The first thing is the timing. I haven’t played for four months and I haven’t really had too many full-length practices (with Dallas),” Nemeth said. “There haven’t been many 3-on-2s or 5-on-5s (situations), so I’ll keep it simple in the first game tomorrow.”