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Sabres LW Ville Leino near ready to make season debut from hip injury

Friday, 03.08.2013 / 3:35 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Sabres LW Ville Leino near ready to make season debut from hip injury

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Sabres forward Ville Leino could be ready to make his season debut as early as next week after missing the first 25 games with an injury to his right hip.

In ruling out Leino from playing at Philadelphia on Sunday, interim coach Ron Rolston called it a "strong possibility" he could play Tuesday, when Buffalo hosts the New York Rangers.

Leino practiced for a fourth straight day Friday. That's a turnaround from last month, when there were concerns he was going to require surgery.

Rolston ruled out Andrej Sekera from playing Sunday, after the defenceman was hurt in the third period of a 3-2 shootout loss at New Jersey on Thursday. Defenceman Jordan Leopold is close to returning after missing eight games with an upper body injury.

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What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

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