Peca, Wellwood latest to be hurt

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:25 AM ET

The rash of hip flexor and groin injuries continues to spread at Maple Leafs training camp.

Add Michael Peca and Kyle Wellwood to the list of those who have endured those irritating tweaks and sprains that have plagued coach Paul Maurice's team.

"We're in that area of camp, boys, where these things come up," Maurice said yesterday. "I actually expected more of them by now."

Having suffered a hip flexor during the Leafs' 4-3 victory over the Canadiens in Montreal on Saturday, Peca took to the ice prior to the Leafs' morning practice for about 15 minutes. He hopes to return to action for one of the back-to-back exhibition games against the Detroit Red Wings this weekend.

So, too, does Tomas Kaberle, who has been out for more than a week because of a groin injury.

The veteran defenceman does expect to resume practising with his teammates this morning at the Air Canada Centre.

Wellwood, meanwhile, came off the ice early yesterday after tweaking his groin.

So why are all these ailments hitting at once?

"At the start of the season, you are not used to skating this hard, even if you worked all summer," Wellwood said. "You get sore. Eventually it goes away and you are fine the whole year but it's usually tender around this time."

The Leafs did welcome back Pavel Kubina for a full practice yesterday.

Kubina, the Leafs' prize free agent pickup this summer, has been out with -- you guessed it -- a hip flexor injury.

"You don't want to (rush)," Kubina said. "But you want to get into one or two exhibition games before the season, too."

LOOSE LEAFS

Defenceman Staffan Kronwall continues to be sidelined by a right ankle sprain. Maurice claimed he will not make a final decision on the makeup of his ailing defence corps until he gets some healthy bodies back. "But to put on paper and say these are our defencemen, I think we are closer to that now because we have a number of injuries," he added ... The battle for the backup goaltending spot between Mikael Tellqvist and J-S Aubin resumes tonight when Tellqvist faces the Ottawa Senators. "It has been so good that we're going to have to wait for the final few games," Maurice said. "There hasn't been any holes or weakness or lack of preparation. I think all those guys have played too well, to their credit."


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