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Leafs' Lupul cleared for contact, could return Saturday

Friday, 03.15.2013 / 12:53 PM / News

NHL.com

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Leafs' Lupul cleared for contact, could return Saturday
Leafs' forward Joffrey Lupul, out since Jan. 24 with a fractured forearm, has been cleared for contact and could play Saturday.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul, who has been out since Jan. 24 with a fractured forearm, has been cleared for contact and could play Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets.

Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle informed the media in Toronto about Lupul's status Friday, but said he wasn't sure if he would insert him into the lineup against the Jets.

Lupul suffered the injury in Toronto's third game of the season against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was standing in front of the net when defenseman Dion Phaneuf hammered a shot that hit Lupul directly in the arm.

Lupul had a career-high 67 points in 66 games last season, and his return could be a big boost for the struggling Maple Leafs, who have lost four straight.

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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.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp