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Leafs back in action

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
by John McCauley

TORONTO - The Leafs got back to action for the first time in nine days on Thursday afternoon, at least those who weren't involved in the Olympic Games.

For those who did participate it was matter of working on getting their touch and wind back before Tuesday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Air Canada Centre.

Curtis Joseph remains only Leaf player still in the hunt for a medal. Mats Sundin, Mikael Renberg, Aki Berg, Jyrki Lumme, Robert Reichel and Tomas Kaberle are expected to take a few days off before resuming workouts with the team.

Injured Leafs Alex Mogilny and Cory Cross participated in the full workout and should be in the lineup for the first game back. If that holds true Nathan Dempsey and Jeff Farkas will remain with St. John's.

Mogilny's lower back felt a lot better after the extended break, despite fighting a flu bug. He was only able to take part in non-contact drills before the Olympics. He suffered the injury after being shoved awkwardly into the boards by San Jose Sharks defenceman Brad Stuart back on January 29.

Cross has missed the last 19 games with a groin/abdominal muscle injury that is often a tricky thing to battle through. He feels the extra rest has allowed it to heal properly.

Dmitry Yushkevich remains a question mark for the Leafs. He is able to practice and workout but body contact is out the question for the rugged defenceman, who suffered a blood clot in his leg during the February 5 game against the Minnesota Wild.

In two weeks time Yushkevich will sit down with doctors and management to discuss his future. There is a procedure that could allow him to resume play in March but there is a minimal health risk. Yushkevich said before the break he is leaning toward having it done.

With assistant coaches Rick Ley and Keith Acton running the practice, some of the players were starting to break in the dark brown leather hockey gloves, which they'll wear with green Toronto St. Pat's jerseys during March 2 game against the Buffalo Sabres to celebrate the team's 75th anniversary.

Toronto will hold workouts everyday until the season resumes.
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