Winger's return imminent

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:50 PM ET

 Everything Chris Simon says and does points to his return to the Calgary Flames for tomorrow's opening game against the San Jose Sharks in the 2004 Western Conference final series.

 He's been back skating for a week after suffering a suspected sprained knee in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

  He's been improving with every turn at practice -- both literally and figuratively.

 And he's back talking a good game with the series at hand against his former head coach, Ron Wilson.

 "All that (history) stuff is put aside," said Simon, who played under Wilson for a handful of seasons with the Washington Capitals. "I don't have anything to say about him or the other team. We have a job to do and that's to beat them. This is the team that I'm on now and it's great to be here."

 He'd feel better if he could get back to playing hockey alongside his teammates.

 Simon suffered the 'lower-body' injury during Game 3 of the first-round series against the Vancouver Canucks.

 "The first few days were really tough but you realize you're going to have to take a few days to get better and just try to deal with it," Simon said. "But it sucks not playing. You get hurt, so what are you going to do?

 "Getting closer every day. It's coming along, so we'll have to wait and see how I feel tomorrow."

 Simon's expected return tomorrow is timely not only because they'll need him to help break down the Sharks' defensive wall but because the Flames might be without another forward, Matthew Lombardi, who is believed to be suffering from a concussion.


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