Leclaire likely back in 10 days

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:16 PM ET

Pascal Leclaire should be able to return to the Senators' net to face either the Minnesota Wild Dec. 19 or the Boston Bruins Dec. 21.

Of course, sooner would be better for a team that heads to Philadelphia and tomorrow's meeting with the Flyers having won just one of its last six games.

Leclaire, Ottawa's No. 1 goalie, has been out since suffering a broken cheekbone while sitting on the bench during a game on Nov. 23. Leclaire was back on the ice taking a few shots yesterday and again today before team practices at Scotiabank Place.

"Probably another 10 days," coach Cory Clouston said when asked about Leclaire"s expected return. "Basically, when he's ready to practice he's ready to play almost. He'll just need a couple of practices. Everything else is physically fine. It's just a matter of making sure that if he took a shot on the spot that it doesn't cause further damage."

Meanwhile, Chris Neil today skated for the first time since suffering a knee injury Nov. 25 and is expected to return in two weeks. Defenceman Alex Picard, who suffered an upper body injury four games ago, could play tomorrow.


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