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Morrison close to returning to the lineup

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

DETROIT, MI -- Over the past week, Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter has hinted Brendan Morrison's return to action would come sooner than later and on Tuesday, the bench boss declared the veteran center would suit up during the team's current road swing.

"At some point on this road trip we're certainly going to need him," he said after the Flames lengthy practice at the Joe Louis Arena. "It may be tomorrow night or it could be in St. Louis."

Sutter placed Morrison in between wingers Tom Kostopoulos and Tim Jackman, signalling he may be replacing Matt Stajan on the fourth line.

After seeing Morrison skate with the team over the past couple of weeks - visibly growing more comfortable and confident as time progressed - and seeing him play with Kostopoulos and Jackman in several game-like scenarios, Sutter is positive the pivot is back where he needs to be.

"He's much further ahead now than he was when we went through the process to start with, to put him on IR. He just wasn't where he needed to be and he needed more time. He's certainly further ahead."

Morrison himself is quite happy with not only how his knee has responded to the additional time off but how his self-confidence has bounced back.

"I think it's better for sure. A little bit more time helps the process. Mentally trusting it more was the biggest issue early on.

"Not engaging anyone for fear of being beaten and having to chase guys. I think that has improved over the past two and half weeks here."

The Pitt Meadows native is scoreless through eight games played this year with an even plus-minus rating. He is in the midst of this second season with club.

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