BRIDGEPORT -- With a line's worth of AHL all-star-caliber talent on the shelf short-term, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers practiced Wednesday with their only 12 healthy, available forwards.
A suspended 13th joined them, Colin McDonald, and an injured 14th took about half the practice before retreating to the dressing room for treatment.
That wasn't unexpected: David Ullstrom is a lot closer now to playing than he was Tuesday.
"It's getting better each day," Ullstrom said. "(Wednesday), I felt really good. It's very positive. I'm excited to be back."
Ullstrom wouldn't disclose details on the lower-body injury that has kept him out since Nov. 3. But he plans to take part in the full practice with the team Thursday before it travels for Friday's game at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
"That's good to see," coach Scott Pellerin said. "We'll see how he does (Thursday) and see about the weekend."
Ullstrom has missed four games after only playing a few shifts the night he got hurt. In six-plus games, he has just two assists.
It's not the way he wanted to start after a year in which he scored 24 goals in 40 AHL games.
"I've got zero doubts," Ullstrom said. "I know what I can do."
While Ullstrom gets closer, Casey Cizikas remains out. He appeared to take either a stick or a bump up high in Sunday's game. The team hasn't disclosed the nature of his injury, and Pellerin said trainers are still evaluating the injury.
One player Bridgeport knows it won't have, along with long-term injured players Calvin de Haan and Kirill Kabanov, is right winger Colin McDonald. The AHL suspended McDonald for Friday's and Saturday's games for a check on Connecticut Whale defenseman Jyri Niemi on Sunday.
"It's an unfortunate situation. Mac's not that kind of player," Pellerin said.
McDonald declined to comment on the play or the suspension. He's eligible to return Sunday at Providence.
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