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Kovalchuk could return to ice against Rangers

NHL.com @NHL

ATLANTA (AP) -Atlanta Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk may return to action less than three weeks after suffering a broken bone in his right foot.

Kovalchuk practiced Wednesday but left early. Coach John Anderson says Kovalchuk's availability will be a game-time decision Thursday night at the New York Rangers.

Kovalchuk, the Thrashers' captain, was expected to miss three to five weeks after suffering the injury on Oct. 24. He was tied for second in the league with nine goals when he was struck on the foot by a puck against the San Jose Sharks.

Forward Evander Kane's status also is uncertain because of a foot injury.

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