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Tuesday's news: Jordan Staal back at practice

NHL.com @NHL
Jordan Staal took the ice for practice today, the first time the Pittsburgh Penguins' center has been able to do so since May.

Staal suffered a severed tendon In his right foot during a second-round playoff game against Montreal five months ago. Recurring infections developed, requiring multiple operations to remove tissue and keeping him off his skates all summer.

Staal began skating last week, but there's no timetable for his return. He had not missed a regular-season game in his first five NHL seasons.

"It was a great feeling no question about it," Staal told the team's website. "Not only was it nice to get back, but it was nice to be back with the guys. It was a lot of fun."

Two other Penguins, forward Arron Asham and defenseman Brooks Orpik, also returned to practice. Both have been sidelined with upper-body injuries. The Penguins aren't saying when either might return, but coach Dan Bylsma told the team's website that Orpik is closer than Asham.

Pominville feeling better -- Buffalo forward Jason Pominville exercised at HSBC Arena, the first time he's been able to do so since sustaining a concussion in a game against Chicago eight days earlier.

"I feel good, much better than I did the first few days," Pominville told the Sabres' website.  "I was able to work out today for the first time. I rode the bike, got the heart rate up a bit, so it feels good right now and hopefully will feel good for the rest of the day."

Coach Lindy Ruff said there's no timetable for Pominville's return. He has missed Buffalo's last three games for after playing 335 in a row.

Matt Walker out 10-12 weeks -- The Philadelphia Flyers say defenseman Matt Walker will have o undergo hip surgery this week and will miss 10-12 weeks.

The procedure to repair a boney impingement and a torn labrum will take place in Nashville on Wednesday and be performed by Dr. Thomas Byrd. It's believed he was injured during a preseason fight with New Jersey's Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond on Sept. 21.

Walker came to the Flyers in the offseason trade that sent Simon Gagne to Tampa Bay.

Commodore on IR -- Columbus placed defenseman Mike Commodore on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 9 due to a chip fracture in his left thumb.

Commodore, 30, suffered the injury in the second game of the season against San Jose in Stockholm. He sat out both of the Blue Jackets' games this past weekend. In two games this season, he's scoreless with 9 PIM.

The Jackets brought up defenseman Nick Holden from AHL Springfield on emergency recall. Holden has 1 goal and 6 PIM in six games with the Falcons. The 23-year-old could make his NHL debut when Columbus hosts Anaheim on Wednesday night.

Hanzal out, Ebbett up -- Phoenix placed center Martin Hanzal on injured reserve after he sustained a lower-body injury during Sunday's 3-2 loss in Anaheim. He's expected to miss a week or two.

The Coyotes recalled center Andrew Ebbett from AHL San Antonio to take his place. Ebbett had 4 assists in five games with the Rampage this season.

Flames claim Mikkelson, demote Brodie -- Calgary claimed 23-year-old defenseman Brendan Mikkelson from the Anaheim Ducks and sent rookie defenseman T.J. Brodie to their AHL farm team, the Abbotsford Heat.

Mikkelson, Anaheim's second-round pick (No. 31) in 2005, has 5 assists and 38 penalty minutes in 67 NHL games. His father, Bill Mikkelson, played for the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals in the 1970s.

Brodie, 20, led the Flames in pr-season scoring with 4 goals and played in three regular-season games.

To replace Mikkelson, Anaheim recalled defenseman Danny Syvret from Syracuse of the AHL. He had 2 assists and 7 PIM in four games with the Crunch this season.

Flu-ridden Wild recall Gillies --
With the flu running through their locker room, Minnesota recalled former first-round pick Colton Gillies from their AHL farm team in Houston.

Gillies, who didn't get a callup during the 2009-10 season, hasn't played in an NHL game since April 2009. The Wild took him with the 17th pick in the 2007 Entry Draft. He had 7 goals and 20 points in 72 games with Houston last season.

Captain Mikko Koivu and forward Chuck Kobasew are the latest members of the Wild to be hit by the flu; three players sat out Monday's practice due to illness.
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