Tucker battling hairline cracks

MIKE ZEISBERGER

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

Picture the series of microscopic cracks that emerge when an ice pick is hammered into a frozen cube.

That, according, to John Ferguson is what happened when Darcy Tucker absorbed a shot in the left foot last week, leaving him with a number of hairline fissures in the bone.

"They are very small and don't come near to going all the way through," Ferguson said yesterday, confirming that Tucker had suffered a number of minuscule cracks in the foot. "You couldn't even see them during the first five or six tests."

Tucker again could attempt to skate any day now, depending on the pain threshold. Coach Paul Maurice hopes Tucker might be ready to return late this week, with Saturday's date against the Buffalo Sabres being the most realistic possibility.

Forward Kyle Wellwood, meanwhile, participated in most of yesterday's practice at the Air Canada Centre and could play as early as Thursday in Boston.

"It's a day-to-day thing, but he was pretty happy with the way it held up out there," said Ferguson, referring to Wellwood's groin/hip flexor injury.


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