Eric Lindros could be ringing in 2006 stuck on the injury list and there is no sign of Nik Antropov or Alex Steen yet, either.
Lindros shrugged yesterday when asked when he might be back in the lineup, now two weeks after suffering torn right wrist ligaments.
"I couldn't tell you," Lindros said, prior to the Leafs edging the Bruins 2-1 last night. "We'll re-evaluate it after the (Christmas) break. It feels like it's progressing, but as far as pin-pointing a time to come back, I don't know.
"We (himself, trainers and doctors) are doing absolutely everything we can. Acupuncture, ultrasound ... we're on it. It's supposed to work."
Lindros' much-anticipated custom brace arrived a few days ago from a supplier in Texas. But three consecutive workouts have yet to make a difference, since the brace's effectiveness is only as good as the natural progression of strength and mobility returning to the wrist. He still can't grip his stick.
"It is what it is. It's going to take some time," he said.
The Leafs have four more games between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve. But when asked if any of his banged-up brigade -- which includes wingers Steen (dislocated thumb) and Antropov (knee) -- head coach Pat Quinn replied: "My understanding is no."
He said Antropov continues to have ligament soreness and though surgery is still not in the cards, his dryland training has been halted a few times because of discomfort.
"(Steen) has a flex problem," Quinn said. "After a while, when the pain goes, you can play with a cast and function somewhat.
"But with (Lindros), the hockey action of handling the puck and shooting is just not there."
The injuries have provided Mariusz Czerkawski, Clarke Wilm and Wade Belak some playing time. But Lindros and Steen are dearly missed. Lindros had 22 points in 30 games when he was hurt Dec. 10, while Steen had been skating on the top line.