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Luongo could return to Panthers lineup after NHL Global Series

Goalie in Finland recovering from knee injury but won't play vs. Jets

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

HELSINKI -- Roberto Luongo has been activated off injured reserve and is inching closer to returning to the Florida Panthers from a knee injury sustained in the first game of the season, but the goalie is unlikely to play in either of the two games against the Winnipeg Jets at the NHL Global Series.

"I think the plan is for him to … unless there's a complete surprise that I haven't heard yet, but the plan is for him to probably try and play next week when we get home. This is more of a rehab week," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said after practice at Hartwall Arena on Wednesday. "He does look good. I know his knee feels good. So hopefully we'll hear something in the next few days what his plans are."

After playing the Jets on Thursday (2 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN3, NHL.TV) and Friday, their next game is against the Edmonton Oilers at BB&T Center on Nov. 8.

Luongo was injured during the second period of a 2-1 shootout loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 6. Florida (2-4-3) has struggled in his absence.

Video: FLA@TBL: Luongo exits game with apparent leg injury

"You try to put your best forward and compete as hard as you can and see where the chips fall," said Panthers goalie James Reimer, who has a 3.41 goals-against average and .878 save percentage in seven games. "[Luongo's] one of the all-time goalies. Obviously, he's a great guy too and he's a heck of a competitor. To lose him is tough, but it's good to have him coming back here. It looks like he's practicing hard and pretty close. We'll see how things transpire in the next while, days, who knows. But it's good to have him back."

Reimer likely will start Thursday, with Michael Hutchinson backing him up, but Boughner said that decision won't be made until after the morning skate.

"My only thing I ask our goalies is to give us a chance to win and make the saves you're supposed to make," Boughner said. "That's what we're trying to get done here. We're trying to be solid in front of them. Both have been real good at times, and some other times a little bit inconsistent. That's a reflection of our whole team, not just those two guys."

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