SUN Hockey Pool

Flames sickbay to discharge pair

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

The way Mike Leclerc and Rhett Warrener were battling each other on the ice, you could tell it would be a matter of days before they were doing the same in a game situation.

The scene took place Friday at the tail end of a long on-ice workout.

The two went head-to-head in hand-to-hand combat, with Leclerc -- nursing a broken wrist -- doing his best to keep Warrener -- on the mend from a knee sprain -- from reaching loose pucks in front of an empty net.

"Skate all you want out there and you never get that game-like battle. When you get in a game, you're just like, 'Oh my God. Out of shape,' " said Leclerc, whose once-broken wrist appeared to hold up fine during the tussles.

"So you've got to do stuff like that, keep it up. I fell on it a couple of times and tested it out. It felt pretty good. A little achy now but no real setbacks."

Leclerc said all that stood between him and a return to the lineup tonight was a trip to the doctor's office yesterday.

Warrener also said he plans to rejoin the team tonight.

"I believe so. It's the coach's decision but I feel I'm ready," said Warrener, who hurt his knee at the Saddledome March 7 in the first period of the Flames' 3-2 loss to Nashville.

It's been a long absence for the gritty defenceman, who has missed 17 straight games, but Warrener hopes it means he'll be fresh for the post-season.

"Hopefully, in the long run, it is a blessing in disguise," he said. "I've had some games off to get healed up and ready for the playoff push. We've just got to make sure that playoff push lasts a long time."

Leclerc broke his wrist with an awkward fall during a two-goal outing in Edmonton March 16, although his second tally didn't count because of a premature whistle.

"It was right before the disallowed goal," recalled Leclerc. "I scored the one shift, the very next shift I went out and I fell in the corner. Then I went to the net and banged it in."


Videos

Photos