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Canucks' Kesler, Sedin practice; Burrows now ailing

by Kevin Woodley

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks got two important players back from injury for practice Friday but lost another.

Top-six forwards Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin were on the ice with teammates for the first time since missing time with leg injuries, but top-line left wing Alexandre Burrows was missing after being slashed on his left hand late in a game Wednesday against the Nashville Predators.

Kesler, who has missed four games with a knee sprain, and Sedin, out for nine with a hamstring injury, took part in the full practice and said returning against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday would depend on how they felt after practicing again Saturday.

"If I didn't feel good enough to play I would never play, but I was excited about [Friday]," said Sedin, who was injured falling awkwardly into the boards during the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on March 2. "I knew right away something happened, but it's been three weeks so hopefully [Saturday] is another good day."

Kesler was happy to be back so soon after a knee-on-knee collision with Winnipeg Jets forward Jim Slater on March 12.

"When you take a hit like that you never know," said Kesler, who left the team one game into a four-game road trip in order to have an MRI in Vancouver the day after the hit. "I'm not going to play until I am ready. There's no sense in going out there and injuring myself again, but I felt good [Friday] and we'll see if I wake up sore [Saturday]."

Burrows dropped his glove and left shaking his hand after a slash from Predators defenseman Shea Weber six minutes into the third period of a 2-0 win Wednesday. He returned to play four more shifts but needed treatment after the game and wasn't on the ice Friday.

It's been a tough season for Burrows, who missed 12 games with a broken foot in October and another 20 after his jaw was broken by a teammate's clearing attempt in early December.

Burrows, who is in the first season of a four-year, $18-million contract, didn't score a goal in his first 35 games, but had five goals in his past five games before getting hurt Wednesday.

"It's just been one of those years for him," coach John Tortorella said. "He finds his game and this happens. I'm not sure whether he misses [games], or if he does how many, but it has been a very difficult time for him."

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