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Maple Leafs' Phaneuf skates, remains week-to-week

by Robby Stanley /

NASHVILLE -- Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf participated in a full morning skate Tuesday for the first time since sustaining a hand injury on Jan. 21 against the Ottawa Senators.

Phaneuf won't be in the lineup Tuesday against the Nashville Predators, but he spoke with reporters after the morning skate at Bridgestone Arena and addressed his status.

"Right now it's still week-to-week, to be honest with you, is how we're handling it," Phaneuf said. "But today was a good day. That's about all I can say. If you ask me tomorrow, I'll tell you how I feel tomorrow and tell you when I'll be ready, but I want to get back as quick as I can."

Phaneuf has missed three games with the injury and the Maple Leafs have gone 0-2-1 in his absence. He is looking forward to getting back in the lineup.

"I take pride in being able to be durable and to play a lot of games, but these sort of things happen," Phaneuf said. "It's an unfortunate situation when it does happen, and my thing is I want to get back as quick as I can."

Phaneuf said the injury occurred during a fight in Ottawa against Milan Michalek and did not occur before that. He was able to participate in drills with the puck Tuesday.

"He's limited with his shooting and his strength, but it's getting better," Maple Leafs interim coach Peter Horachek said. "It was really good that he came out and he can pass and shoot enough at this point. The quicker he gets on the ice and practices with us, the better."

Phaneuf skated at the end of the morning skate in Philadelphia on Jan. 31 but only performed drills where he did not touch the puck.

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