Marc Staal injury: Rangers defenseman expected to make 'full recovery'

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Doctors are optimistic that New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal will fully recover from an eye injury after a puck hit him in the face.

New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal will make a "full recovery" after being struck in the eye by a puck, according to the team's Twitter feed. After being examined by an opthamologist and a maxillofacial surgeon, it was determined that Staal will be still be out for an indefinite amount of time.

Both doctors said that Staal has made "significant improvement" after being hit by a puck on Tuesday. Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen's shot was deflected off Jakub Voracek's stick and hit Staal in the eye during the third period of the Rangers' 4-2 victory against the Flyers. The team remained quiet on the status of the defenseman afterward because swelling made it difficult for them to diagnose the injury.

The injury initially dialed up talk about the NHL's safety rules, which do not require players to wear protective visors.

Staal, a first-round pick by the Rangers in 2005, has two goals and nine assists through 21 games this season. The Rangers will continue on without him for the time being, and they next face the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

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