Wellwood not ready to return

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

Those waiting yesterday to see how Kyle Wellwood's groin/hip flexor injury fared during the two-day Christmas break didn't have to hang around long.

Only a few minutes after the forward went out in full equipment, he was back in the dressing room.

"There's a lot of soreness and it's tightening up on me," Wellwood said. "When I get better, I'll play. There's a lot of inflammation and we're just going through as many solutions as we can."

His lack of progress after he missed two pre-Christmas games means he might not be back until after weekend tests against Pittsburgh and Ottawa. But coach Paul Maurice is hopeful of a quick resolution.

"I don't think we're missing an injury here," he said. "He's been tested and we know what it is. What's happened is that he rehabbed it and then taken two days of rest and now it's stiff. We're not going to push him back too early."

POPULARITY POHL

Only one thing could have made centre John Pohl's big game last night even sweeter.

"It wasn't broadcast in the Twin Cities," the Red Wing, Minn., native said after a penalty-shot goal and an assist against his home-state Wild. "Nobody saw it. But my family has the Centre Ice (NHL pay TV) package, so that's all that matters."

Pohl grew up watching the state's first NHL team, the North Stars.

"The Wild are a young franchise and by the time they arrived, I was in college and drafted by (St. Louis). But when I'm home in the summer or early fall, you want them to do well for the Minnesota people. It's cool to say I scored against them."

JUST CALL HIM KRIS KRINGLE

Brampton-born forward Kris Newbury had the ultimate Christmas present on Saturday: His NHL debut.

After finding out he was in the lineup Friday when the Marlies' bus pulled into Rochester, N.Y., Newbury was able to acquire enough tickets for the Washington game.

"I didn't sleep much Friday," he said. "Both my parents were here and we know a guy on the Caps (family friend Brooks Laich) so it worked out with tickets.

"It was amazing, something I'll remember the rest of my life."


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