By Bill Hoppe
BUFFALO — On Monday, concussed winger Cody McCormick said he thought he could play later this week during the Sabres’ five-game road trip. He just needed to pass his neuro-psych test for clearance.
“A lot of guys take the test, they feel normal,” McCormick said inside the First Niagara Center. “They’re symptom-free. Maybe they don’t ace the concussion test and it takes a couple tries. Hopefully, that’s not my case and I can get through this test.”
About 15 minutes later, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said McCormick, who’s missed the last eight games, had failed the test and wouldn’t accompany the team to California.
“He had a feeling he didn’t do well,” Ruff said. “It’s never good when you here that. His conditioning is back up where we need it. He suffered a couple situations there. It looks like it’s going to take time.”
McCormick, who also had a concussion in November, said he feels fine.
“I don’t know if two in three months is a real bad thing,” McCormick said. “I know other people have had it, come back and been fine. I’m banking on that right now.”
The 28-year-old suffered the second one Feb. 10 when he “took a couple consecutive hard hits and didn’t feel right.”
McCormick’s endured a rough campaign after signing a three-year, $3.6 million contract in July. He has zero goals, two points, a minus-7 rating and has become a healthy scratch.
Watching recently hasn’t been easy.
“It’s incredibly frustrating watching the guys out there not being able to help them,” McCormick said. “Seeing this time of year and how fired up guys are for the games and you’re not really a part of it. I definitely feel like I’m missing out on that right now.”