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Nielsen Hopes to Make His Return

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
If you don’t include center Frans Nielsen, who has been sidelined with a groin injury since January 3, sending Jesse Joensuu back to Bridgeport yesterday morning leaves the Islanders with just 11 healthy forwards.

Frans Nielsen #51 of the New York Islanders watches the puck soar past Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins for a shootout goal in overtime on December 29, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 2-1. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
“It’s been feeling good,” Nielsen said about his groin. “Hopefully I’ll be fine tomorrow (on Wednesday) at practice and then we’ll see… I almost came back and then we started working it hard again. I started feeling (the injury) a little bit, so hopefully I don’t feel that again. I just really want to get back out there.”

Knowing management wouldn’t make the move with Joensuu unless they expected an injured player to return, it’s highly plausible that Nielsen is expected to play on Thursday night when the Islanders take on the Washington Capitals at Nassau Coliseum.

His absence has definitely been felt. Since Nielsen sustained the groin injury in Calgary on January 3, the center has missed seven games and the Islanders have posted a 1-4-2 record.

When he comes back, Nielsen said he’s hoping to contribute in a big way.

“Hopefully a little bit of everything, scoring and defense,” Nielsen said. “Hopefully I can get back to playing my game right away. It has almost been two weeks now, so hopefully I haven’t lost too much.”
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