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Tuesday Injury Update: Crosby, Timonen, Howard, Toews

(3/13/12) Welcome back, Kotter.  It's official, Sidney Crosby will return to live action Thursday at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers.  And what timing for fantasy owners!  If you have him... hold your breath, say your prayers, take your vitamins and get him back in there.    



Patrice Bergeron took a slap shot off his foot on Sunday and is a game-time decision tonight against the Lightning.  He was a full participant during the morning skate, and it sounds like he's leaning toward playing.  Also for the Bs, forward Dan Paille is probable to return after missing five games with an upper-body injury.  

Habs forward David Desharnais missed one game with a lower-body issue, but he returned last night and looked no worse for wear.  He notched a goal and added an assist in a 3-2 loss to Sabres, and that's a clear sign he's safe have in your lineup next week.

And let's stick with the good news for a moment, as Cal Clutterbuck is probable to return for Minny against the Stars.  And teammate Devin Setoguchi missed the morning skate, but he's expected to suit up, as well.

Jeez, it's nothing but sunshine and rainbows today.  The Flyers have a couple of surprise returns tonight, as Jakub Voracek and Kimmo Timonen are probable to play against the Devils.  Timonen is the real shocker, as he was listed as out indefinitely as recently as yesterday.  Then again, he played 248 straight games before this injury, so maybe it's not so surprising that the iron man is back.  

But now the bad news...

The Flames have a gaggle of players out tonight, as Mike Cammalleri, Lance Bouma, Tim Jackman, and T.J. Brodie are doubtful, while Blake Comeau may also sit and is listed as questionable.  

For the Stars, Sheldon Souray will miss his second straight game with a lower-body injury.  

Islanders forward P.A. Parenteau is doubtful with an upper-body injury.  He took a serious high stick to the face last game, and we have to guess it's related to that.

And Ryan Callahan and Michael Del Zotto are expected to miss another game for the Rangers Tuesday.

The Red Wings have one key player returning, as Jimmy Howard is expected to be back between the pipes tonight after missing three games with a groin strain.  Meanwhile, the news on Nicklas Lidstrom is not so good.  He's healing slowly from a bruised foot, and the Wings announced today that Lidstrom is out at least 2-3 more games.  It's a similar situation for Pavel Datsyuk, who may be a little closer than Lidstrom, but he's also likely out a couple more games.

Another key fantasy player who remains out is Panthers forward Kris Versteeg.  He was originally expected to be out about about three games, but tonight is the eighth start he's missed and we're still counting.  It appears the earliest Versteeg will be able to make it back is Saturday, but that's optimistic, and it's more likely he'll join the team on the road next week.  And there's more bad news for the Panthers... Jack Skille may be done for the season with a long-term upper-body injury.  

Lastly, we'll leave you with our seemingly daily report on Jonathan Toews.  He seemed to be making baby steps, but there's a minor red flag today.  According to ESPN, Toews sat out practice Tuesday, and Hawks coach Joel Quenville said of Toews, "He's here.  He's getting treatments.  It's all part of the process.  Some days are better than others, but he knows his body...  Hopefully we'll have him back on the ice tomorrow."  Reading between the lines, it's probably not a big deal in the grand scheme, but it sounds like Toews' symptoms were a little stronger today.