Kubina pleased wth progress

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:40 AM ET

Pavel Kubina makes no promises.

But the healing Maple Leafs defenceman is not ruling out a return to the lineup as early as Monday when the struggling Philadelphia Flyers make their first visit of the season to the Air Canada Centre.

While hoping to be back so soon might be a bit premature, Kubina is pleased with the progress the knee had made since he stepped back on to the ice earlier this week.

Kubina, 29, suffered a strain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee when he became entangled with the Florida Panthers' Todd Bertuzzi during a game in Toronto Oct. 9.

"There were questions, especially after Monday when I skated for the first time with the team with a big brace," said Kubina, who signed a four-year, $20-million US contract with the Leafs during the summer. "We were waiting to see how the knee would react and it was fine.

"We are just working to get back into game shape. We're still looking at next week. Monday, Wednesday, we'll see."

Asked if it was unreasonable to expect a return against the Flyers, Kubina replied "No."

"I'll do my best to come back for next week," he said. "But I can not say right now if it will be Monday, Wednesday, even Saturday. "I'm hoping for next week but I can't say when."

THE WHITE STUFF

Expect the Maple Leafs to closely monitor the status of Ian White after the young defenceman took a shot in the foot during a 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers Thursday night.

White limped to the bench in obvious pain but did return to finish out the game.

"It's not something I'd want to have happen again," White said. "But you never know. That shot might have done more damage had it gone into the back of our net. It's a small price to pay. You sleep it off and see how it is in the morning.

"I'm not going to lie. It still hurts pretty bad. But when (the foot) is still in the skate it doesn't swell up or anything. So it doesn't feel as bad until later on in the game or after that when you take your skate off. That's when it starts to swell up or stiffen up."


Photos