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Karlsson ruled out at least two games for Senators

Defenseman has yet to make season debut because of foot injury, could return next week

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Defenseman Erik Karlsson will not join the Ottawa Senators on their current road trip in Western Canada but could be in the lineup as early as next week.

The two-time Norris Trophy winner, who had surgery on his left foot to repair torn tendons June 14, will remain in Ottawa to work on his conditioning.

"We are hopeful that he will play at some point in time next week," general manager Pierre Dorion said Wednesday.

The Senators play the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday (9 p.m. ET, SNF, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV) and are at the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. They return home to play the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

"It's all about conditioning and he has to get used to a different sensation in his foot, but there is no setback at all," Dorion said. "We talked before we left (for the road trip) that the best thing to get him ready is to have him skate with (player development coach) Shean Donovan on a daily basis.

Video: Erik Karlsson takes the No. 3 spot

"With Erik, I know he's putting in a lot of hard work on the ice and in the gym to come and help this team sooner than later. It's just conditioning. We all know when Erik steps into the lineup he is not going to play seven minutes. He will play his usual 25 minutes to 30 minutes. I think when you have to play that many minutes, you have to be in shape. Even though Erik is special and in great shape, the more we can get him in that great shape the best it will be for everyone."

Dorion said there is a chance defenseman Johnny Oduya, who sustained a lower-body injury against the Washington Capitals on Thursday and remained in Ottawa, could join the team in Calgary and be in the lineup in Edmonton.

Oduya, 36, signed a one-year contract worth $1 million with bonuses that could add up to another $1.25 million July 24.

Senators coach Guy Boucher dressed seven defensemen in a 3-2 shootout win against the Canucks on Tuesday including rookies Christian Jaros, who made his NHL debut, and Thomas Chabot, who played his second game in the League.

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