High-scoring winger Ilya Kovalchuk isn’t ready to drive the Devils’ stalled offense just yet.

Kovalchuk, who said Thursday afternoon that he’s not interested in returning from his right shoulder injury, only to be a "passenger" on the bench, didn’t participate in Friday’s morning skate at the Prudential Center and didn’t play during Friday night’s 2-0 loss to Ottawa.

It appears he may return Monday, when the Devils play at Toronto.

"Not ready yet," coach Pete DeBoer said. "If he was close to playing, he would be playing. There is no setback.

"I never said he was playing (Friday). You guys (the media) did. I’ve said he’s day to day.

"It was obvious (he’s not ready). He’s not close enough to help us or help himself or put himself in a situation to be successful. He’s getting closer every day.

"I don’t think it’s far off."

Kovalchuk, who has skated with the team the past three days, has been sidelined the past nine games since crashing into the end boards on March 23 against Florida.

The Devils have yet to win (0-5-4) since he went down.