NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — That was quick.

After battling a lengthy rehab only to return for one game, Devils left wing Zach Parise will sit out the remainder of the season.

He said the team’s decision was “just precautionary” and admitted “it’s the smart thing to do right now.”

“We talked about it,” said Parise. “It’s not what I had planned but I definitely think it’s the smart idea with us not going to the playoffs.”

Parise returned Saturday after missing roughly five months following surgery on his right knee.

“I didn’t re-injure it,” Parise said. “My body was definitely sore but by no means did I re-injure it.”

“There has been no setback from his operation,” Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said. “The only setback is he’s sore everywhere in his body.”

The Devils rested him on Tuesday night against Pittsburgh as a precaution but he was not in the lineup for the team’s win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Prudential Center on Wednesday night.

Devils coach Jacques Lemaire refused initially to say why Parise wasn’t playing.

New Jersey closes out the season with a game in New York against the Rangers on Saturday and a home contest against Boston on Sunday. New Jersey failed to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 1996.

“He can play. He’s fine,” Lamoriello said. “We’re not in the playoffs, so we’re not going to risk anything.”

Good move by the Devils? Let us know in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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