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Troubles ahead? Marc Staal will miss at least the first two games of season

Oct 3, 2011, 6:07 PM EST

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Marc Staal Getty Images

Marc Staal‘s training camp hasn’t been a pleasant one for him or the New York Rangers. Staal’s recovery from post-concussion-like issues as well as a hurting neck are progressing slowly. While Staal works out with the Rangers minor league team in Hartford, the rest of the team is in Europe preparing for their season opener on Friday against the Los Angeles Kings.

Today, bad news from the Rangers about Staal as they say that Staal won’t be joining the team in Europe and will miss at least the team’s first two games because of that.

“Marc Staal continues to work with his people (in New York) and he’s not coming on the trip, he will not be (in Stockholm),” Tortorella said of Staal, who has been suffering from bad headaches since the summer. “He continues to work with the doctors out there, so we thought it was best to leave him alone right now. So he won’t open thie season with us.”

Staal’s lingering issues are a serious concern for New York as he’s their best defenseman and the key to how things go along the blue line. The Rangers’ depth on defense isn’t exactly awe-inspiring as they’ll be counting on Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel to help fill out ranks in Europe.

Yikes.

Staal’s issues go back to last spring when his brother Eric Staal crushed him with a body check that put Staal out of action for a short time. Upon his return, however, the issues continued and nagged at Staal all through the summer. The Rangers being careful with him is the right move to make, but with the season starting up and a serious question mark hanging over their top defender is a big problem.

Expect the Rangers to be sniffing around the waiver wire the next few days to see if they can find someone to give them better depth support.

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