SUN Hockey Pool

Flames centre nears return

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

Matthew Lombardi had his most active practice yet but doesn't expect to lace up before this road trip ends.

Calgary concludes its five-game swing with contests tonight in Philadelphia and tomorrow in New Jersey and the slick-skating centre doesn't figure he'll be part of it due to his ankle injury.

"It doesn't look like it but it is a day-to-day thing," Lombardi said.

"Hopefully, (today) I'll feel better in the morning skate again and a little better the next day but we'll go by what the doctors say."

Lombardi suffered a high ankle sprain Oct. 17 and has slowly worked his way back toward the lineup during this trip.

Yesterday, he took part of more line rushes and drills than previous sessions, zipping and darting his way up and down the ice.

"I'm getting better every day but I've got to get the conditioning back where it was and doing little things like stops and starts to get my ankle back," Lombardi said.

The good news is he can see the end of his time on the shelf.

"It's a long process. The injury, you've just got to let it heal. At least I know it's coming."


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