Tucker down again

Toronto Maple Leafs' Darcy Tucker won't make the trip to Boston to face the Bruins tonight after...

Toronto Maple Leafs' Darcy Tucker won't make the trip to Boston to face the Bruins tonight after his foot swelled up yesterday. (Toronto Sun/Dave Thomas)

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

Darcy Tucker seems to have run out of medical miracles.

For the time being, anyway.

Tucker, whose unexpected return to the lineup helped the Maple Leafs dispose of the Boston Bruins 5-1 Monday, did not make the trip to Beantown for tonight's rematch at the TD Banknorth Garden after his injured left foot ballooned like a waistline after Christmas dinner.

"The problem is, trying to keep the swelling out of it," said Tucker, who was wearing a walking cast on the foot when he hobbled out of the Leafs dressing room yesterday. "If you can't keep the swelling out of it, you can't fit (the foot) into your skate and there is no way to play. We have to get the swelling back down and hopefully it won't take that long.

"We are going to stay back and try to get the swelling out of it as much as possible. There's no use getting on a plane and having (the foot) exploding in the air.

"We'll see how much swelling we can get out of it the next two days and see if it's good to go Saturday night (against the Buffalo Sabres)."

Tucker suffered microscopic bone fissures in the foot when he was plunked by a shot against the Minnesota Wild back on Dec. 26 and was not predicted to be back Monday by either general manager John Ferguson or coach Paul Maurice.

But the veteran forward shocked more than just Ferguson and Maurice when he stuffed the healing foot into his skate boot and stepped on to the ice against the Bruins, who played against Tucker at his ornery best.

Tucker's early return stoked his already strong reputation as a warrior who will play through pain, a trait that certainly will be played up during contract negotiations with the Leafs.

Tucker is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

"(Ferguson) and I have had some good talks recently," Tucker's agent, Carlos Sosa, said last night from Seattle. "I'm relatively pleased. At the same time, we are no where near reaching any kind of agreement."

Like Tucker, fellow injured forward Kyle Wellwood did not practise yesterday and will not suit up against the Bruins tonight. Saturday's date against the Sabres remains a possibility for Wellwood, who has missed the past seven games with a groin/hip flexor problem.

LEAVES EARLY

Aleksander Suglobov, meanwhile, left yesterday's workout early with tightness in his back, but is expected to face the Bruins.

On a positive note, Alexei Ponikarovsky practised with his teammates for the first time since separating his left shoulder two weeks ago.

Maurice said it might be another week before Ponikarovsky receives medical clearance from the doctors to begin physical contact again.

"I was never the guy that was hurt, so this is not good," Ponikarovsky said. "But it feels great to be out there with the guys."


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