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Joffrey Lupul starts camp on injured reserve

Maple Leafs forward still not ready to go after sports hernia surgery in February

by David Alter / Correspondent

TORONTO -- Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul will start the season on injured reserve, but he's determined to play this season.

"It is with deep regret that I will be unable to attend training camp and start the season with the Leafs due to injury," Lupul said in a statement Thursday, the first day of training camp. "I pledge to work hard with a view to return to playing this season. Hockey is the only life I have known. This is an extremely emotional time for me. Accordingly, I will not be making any further comment at this time."

Lupul had 11 goals and 14 points in 46 games last season. He was shut down in early February and had surgery to repair a sports hernia.

"He was in rehab all summer, and when it was thought he would have a chance to get back on the ice he did so," general manager Lou Lamoriello said. "He got on the ice and had the same discomfort."

Shortly after getting back on the ice, Lupul took a physical and the determination was made that he was not ready.

Video: MTL@TOR: Lupul puts home the rebound to tie it up

"He's disappointed, he's going to continue to work at it, wants to play and we'll just have to see," Lamoriello said of Lupul, who has two years remaining on his contract.

Lupul joins defenseman Stephane Robidas and forward Nathan Horton on injured reserve. Robidas missed all of last season with a knee injury and is expected to shift into a consulting role this season, his last on a three-year contract. Horton also missed all of last season with a degenerative back problem and has never played for the Maple Leafs since being acquired in a trade for forward David Clarkson on Feb. 26, 2015.

Goaltender Frederik Andersen, acquired from the Anaheim Ducks on June 20 and signed to a five-year contract, was not made available to the media. Andersen injured his upper body on Sept. 2 playing for Denmark during an Olympic qualifying tournament. He was unable to play for Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey 2016, and the Maple Leafs said on Sept. 5 he was expected to need 3-4 weeks to recover.

"He's progressing, We're certainly not going to rush anything, but until he's ready we're not going to have any comment, but he is progressing," Lamoriello said. "He's had no setbacks, so hopefully he'll be on the time frame we originally thought."

Video: TOR@PHI: Lupul gathers rebound, lights the lamp

The Maple Leafs take their training camp to Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Friday and play their first preseason game against the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

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