SUN Hockey Pool

Wounded Flames upgraded

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:42 AM ET

The Calgary Flames injury brigade may finally shrink.

Defenceman Jordan Leopold, who's missed the last three games due to a groin injury, said he expects to be back in the lineup when the Flames face Phoenix tonight.

"It's realistic," Leopold said after yesterday's practice.

"We'll see how it feels in the morning when I go out there.'

"It's been progressing every day, and getting better, so I don't see a reason to have problems (today)."

Leopold, averaging more than 22 minutes per game, said it's just a matter of handling any pain, which he said shouldn't be a problem.

"I've got red hair in my genes and that means you can stand 25 percent more pain than most people," he said.

Centre Jamie Lundmark is also inching closer to a return from the eye injury he suffered March 29. Lundmark, who needed four stitches on his eyelid, skated yesterday for the first time.

Right wing Darren McCarty and defenceman Rhett Warrener are still a few days away, while left-winger Mike Leclerc could return next week.

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QUICK HITS: Taking a key step in his recovery from a broken heel, goaltender Jose Theodore participated in his first full practice with the Avalanche yesterday. Theodore has not played since fracturing his right heel during the Olympic break ... Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk will not play for a week to 10 days because of a lower-body injury ... Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery was named NHL rookie of the month. Emery, 23, led all goalies with 12 wins in March.


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