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Zajac practices, possible for Thursday in Philly

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

Travis Zajac returned to practice on Wednesday and is possible for Thursday's game in Philadelphia.

Zajac has missed two games since rolling his ankle in practice last Friday. He's one of several Devils battling the injury bug.

"He skated [Tuesday], felt better," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello updated. "We put him on the ice this morning to just see and he felt good enough to go and practice. We'll see how practice is today."

Anton Volchenkov (lower body, 1 game missed) and Peter Harrold (lower body, 3 games) were also back on the ice.

"We'll see how they survive the practice as far as what they're at," said Lamoriello.

Jon Merrill, who suffered facial lacerations after he was tripped by Torrey Mitchell in Sunday's game at Minnesota, could be just days away from a return. It was Merrill's NHL debut.

"Every test came back normal," Lamoriello said. "He''ll just be a few days because of the lacerations and the bang [into the boards] and so forth. It's a matter of four or five days."

Patrik Elias (upper body, 2 games missed) will not travel with the team to Philadelphia. He left warmups before Saturday's home meeting with the Flyers and did not return.

Elias is tied for third on the club with seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in 10 games.

"Hopefully we'll get him back skating in the next few days – hopefully," Lamoriello said. "But he's feeling much better."

Bryce Salvador and Ryane Clowe remain sidelined.

• The Devils recalled Cam Janssen on Wednesday. Janssen rotated through the fourth line at practice with Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta and Jacob Josefson.

Janssen will "just bring a little different dimension to our lineup," Lamoriello said.

In 11 games this season with Albany (AHL), Janssen has one assist and 15 penalty minutes.

"He's an excitable guy," Lamoriello said. "He brings energy, he brings enthusiasm. He's a great locker room guy. He's got a lot of things going for him."

Wednesday's forward lines:
Dainius Zubrus - Andrei Loktionov - Jaromir Jagr
Mattias Tedenby - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder
Damien Brunner - Travis Zajac - Steve Bernier
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Jacob Josefson / Cam Janssen

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