SUN Hockey Pool

Jarome braced to make return

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

Long before most of his teammates woke up yesterday, Jarome Iginla hit the ice for the first time in three weeks.

Wearing a knee brace he could very well be sporting for the balance of the season, Iginla took his biggest step towards returning to the lineup following an MCL sprain in his left knee Jan. 4.

"It's definitely improving and it feels good to get back on the ice again," said the team captain, whose club is 6-2 without him.

"It takes a few days to get skating again and then it's just about how it feels. It's a pretty unique feeling in the knee and something that's hard to explain but it keeps getting better daily and, hopefully, I won't have to miss too many more games."

Iginla didn't join the club for its two-game trip this weekend but is cautiously optimistic he could return Tuesday against Los Angeles at the 'Dome. A more reasonable return date would be next Friday against Columbus.

"It's tough to say -- I'm really hoping to play next week sometime but it depends how it feels and what I can do on the ice," said Iginla, who skated alone at the 'Dome, taking shots and working up a sweat while team officials looked on.

ICE CHIPS:

Chuck Kobasew, who suffered a concussion in the same game in which Iginla was hurt, returned to regular practice yesterday and is expected to play tonight in Minnesota ... The Flames called up David Moss and Eric Godard from Omaha yesterday.


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