Colaiacovo gets good news from doctors

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

Judging by the huge grin on Carlo Colaiacovo's mug, you would have thought he had just scored the game-winning shootout goal against the Buffalo Sabres last night.

But in reality, the young defenceman didn't even suit up for the Maple Leafs 4-3 victory, having jammed his wrist earlier in the week during a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The source of Colaiacovo's giddiness came from a visit with team doctors, who left the rookie blue liner hopeful of rejoining the lineup tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils in a New Year's eve tilt in the swamp.

"It's just a mild sprain, which is very very good news," said Colaiacovo, adjusting the brace on his right hand. "I'm going to try skating (today) and, if all goes well, I plan on making the trip.

"I'm surprised. (Wednesday) I could not even make a fist and now I can. If I have the same type of improvement overnight, that would be great."

Staffan Kronwall was called up to take Colaiacovo's place in the lineup last night and finished even in his 14:08 of ice time.

An injury to Kronwall back on Nov. 26 first opened the door for Colaiacovo to state his claim for a spot on the Maple Leafs blue line.

Truth be told, Kronwall, 23, admits there still is some pain in the knee he strained in a game against the Habs about four weeks ago.

But a recent four-game stint with the Marlies gave the Swedish rookie confidence that he could play through the tenderness.

"It's still a bit sore but the doctors told me it would be,"said Kronwall. "It makes it easier knowing that when I still feel some discomfort, it's normal and not something more serious.

"For the most part, the knee feels good. The brace I'm wearing works well."


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