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Craig Anderson about to return to Senators: report

Likely to practice after All-Star break, could make first start in two months on Feb. 7

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Goalie Craig Anderson could return to practice with the Ottawa Senators on Monday, the Ottawa Sun reported.

Anderson has taken personal leave to be with his wife, Nicholle, who recently completed treatment for throat cancer. He hasn't played since Dec. 5.

"It's the beginning of the next part of the process and, I mean, we said the target was the end of January or the beginning of February, and I think we're right there," coach Guy Boucher told the newspaper Thursday. "He's going to have the next days to continue, he'll be with us at some point, and we'll see him soon enough."

Anderson, who is 12-6-1 with a 2.46 GAA, .924 save percentage and three shutouts, will use the All-Star break to work with goalie coach Pierre Groulx. The report said Anderson would join the Senators on a three-game road trip and could start in the first home game after that, on Feb. 7 against the St. Louis Blues.

"He wants to accelerate the process on his own," Boucher told the newspaper. "Could he be (at practice Monday)? Sure, but I don't want to say yes and then he's got something that happens that he has to be [with] his family and his wife and whatever needs to be done, so I don't want to get into that.

Video: OTT@PIT: Anderson turns away Crosby from tight angle

"We're getting much closer and further in the process of him coming back for good."

Goalie Mike Condon has played 24 straight games, including 15 straight starts. He's 14-7-5 with a 2.40 GAA, .917 save percentage and four shutouts.

"When we put [Craig] in net, we'll feel that he's ready," Boucher said. "How long that's going to take, I don't know, but the one thing that's for sure is Condon's been asked to take the job and he's done a wonderful job and that's why it's a team. That's why we don't play tennis 1-on-1. There's no controversy in that respect."

Nicholle Anderson tweeted this week that she was ready for Craig to get back on the ice.

"I couldn't be more proud of my husband for everything he has done for our family. Now get back to where you belong," she wrote.

Tweet from @xonichollexo: I couldn't be more proud of my husband for everything he has done for our family. Now get back to where you belong. #thepipes #iloveyou https://t.co/MAaWw31OIH

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