The Detroit Free Press and MLive.com reported Monday that Howard will be activated from IR and be available to play Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Howard left a game Jan. 20 against the St. Louis Blues in the second period with pain in his knee; he had missed nearly three weeks in December with a knee injury. This time Howard said he only expected to miss about a week after having fluid drained from the knee, and he previously had targeted a return for Tuesday against the Flyers.
In 29 games the 29-year-old is 9-12-8 with a 2.64 goals-against average and .916 save percentage.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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