Rangers say Staal's eye injury has improved significantly Staff

3/6/2013 6:57:00 PM

The New York Rangers say that Marc Staal's eye injury has improved significantly since Tuesday night and doctors are optimistic that he will make a full recovery.

Staal was hurt in the third period of Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers when a deflected slap shot hit him in his right eye.

In a statement, the Rangers said that Staal was examined on Wednesday in New York by Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist, and Dr. Mendel Markowitz, a maxillofacial surgeon.

The team said that Staal will be sidelined indefinitely.

Marc Staal's brother, Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, spoke to about his younger brother's status.

Eric said he spoke to Marc on Wednesday morning. "He sounded like he was in OK spirits but we don't know a lot right now. Obviously we're saying prayers and hoping he dodged a bullet as far as being struck in that area. We'll know more with some more time."

Eric said that when he saw the play after the Hurricanes win over the Sabres on Tuesday night that he was bothered when he saw his brother in pain on the ice.

"It's scary to see. It's an awful feeling and it made me sick to my stomach seeing him in that pain with his legs kicking. But, it was good to talk to him [Wednesday] and, hopefully, everything is going to be OK."