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Injured Penguins goalie Matt Murray could return as soon as Saturday

Jonathan Bombulie
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Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray , makes a stop during an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.

TAMPA, Fla. – Among a handful of players fighting through injuries at Pittsburgh Penguins practice on Friday, goalie Matt Murray might have received the best news.

Murray, who missed Thursday night’s game in Florida with an upper-body injury, was a full participant in practice and didn’t rule out playing Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“You just take it one step at a time,” Murray said. “You wake up, see how you feel and go from there. I felt good today.”

Murray’s current injury is the third that has caused him to miss time this season, joining a concussion that kept him out 10 days and a lower-body injury that sidelined him for a month.

He said there’s no use getting frustrated about his frequent trips to the trainer’s room.

“It is what it is. It’s part of the game. It’s a fast game out there and things happen,” Murray said. “I don’t think it’s worth getting frustrated over. I’m just trying to stop the puck. I’m trying to do whatever I can to do that. Sometimes it might go a little too far and get injured. Something unlucky might happen. You might get a weird bounce, a shot off the head, something like that. Stuff happens.”

Justin Schultz, out since Oct. 13 with a broken leg, was also a full participant in practice Friday, but he didn’t sound as optimistic about his chances of playing Saturday night.

“I don’t want to rush this and come back too soon,” Schultz said. “Just trying to feel better every day and get back to 100 percent.”

Evgeni Malkin (upper body) and Zach Aston-Reese (hand) joined the team for practice for the first time since suffering their injuries, albeit in red, no-contact jerseys.

Aston-Reese said his injury didn’t occur on a punch when he fought Florida’s Colton Sceviour on Jan. 8. Doctors told him it probably happened when he fell to the ice, but Aston-Reese speculated it occurred while grabbing Sceviour’s jersey.

Kris Letang, meanwhile, did not practice Friday. Coach Mike Sullivan said he had the day off for maintenance.

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Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at [email protected] or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.