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Malhotra skates, players take option

by Dhiren Mahiban /
VANCOUVER B.C. -- For the second consecutive morning, injured Canucks center Manny Malhotra took to the ice.

Malhotra skated by himself Thursday, wearing a tracksuit and full-face shield, and then joined his teammates briefly for warm-ups, centering a line of Victor Oreskovich and Tanner Glass.

"He skated a little bit (Wednesday), too, so it's nice to see him back," said Canucks captain Henrik Sedin. "He's been around the team a lot even though he's been injured, so he's been a big help for us off the ice."

Malhotra last played March 16, when he was hit in the left eye by a puck. The 30-year-old already has undergone two surgeries on the eye and reportedly is scheduled to have one more procedure done.

"It was a thrill for all of us to see him on the ice and he did partake in some drills," said associate coach Rick Bowness. "I did have to give him heck right away because he went offside on one of our simple little warm-up drills.

"Certainly there's no change in Manny's status. He was just getting a light workout in with the guys. Nothing has changed -- unless there's a complete miracle, there's no chance (he'll play)."

Sedin, Chris Higgins and Mikael Samuelsson, along with defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo, opted out of the team's first practice since they eliminated the Nashville Predators on Monday.
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