OTTAWA (AP) - Anaheim Ducks forward Chris Kunitz has been cleared to play three weeks after breaking a bone in his right hand and could return Saturday for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals.
Kunitz, part of the team's top line, would provide an added boost to a Ducks team leading Ottawa 2-0 in the best-of-seven series. Coach Randy Carlyle said it will be decided at game-time if Kunitz will play.
"The last question we asked the doctor is that, 'If this was your son, would you allow him to play?' And the answer, obviously, was yes," Carlyle said. The coach's only concern is Kunitz's conditioning.
Kunitz, a gritty left wing, had a goal and five assists in 11 games playing alongside Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald. He has missed seven games since being hurt May 11 in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against Detroit.
Kunitz has been skating with the team since at least Tuesday, and said he felt good after practice Saturday morning.
"It's going to be a little tight, but nothing I can't work through," Kunitz said. "I'll probably be thrown into the fire because it's such a high level right now. It's going to be exciting to see. Hopefully, I'm in."
The team had all but ruled him out from the playoffs after he was hurt.
"It's been painful watching," Kunitz said. "It's a great relief that I might have a chance now."
Selanne was pleased to hear the news.
"When he had surgery, I wasn't really expecting much, but it's unbelievable," Selanne said. "I knew a week ago, he told me he's pretty close, and I said, 'What? Are you serious?' Then I knew that he was coming back, for sure."