Leafs' success eases Tucker's pain

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

Watching his teammates rack up the wins has made the idle life a little easier for Darcy Tucker.

"We have a lot of character in our dressing room and it has been great," Tucker said. "Mats (Sundin) has been phenomenal and everybody is playing well."

As his agent, Carlos Sosa, has been trying to hammer out a new contract for Tucker with Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson, Tucker has been recovering from bone cracks in his left foot. On Saturday, Tucker got rid of his crutches and was scheduled to have an MRI today.

Tucker will join his teammates on a three-game trip that begins Thursday in New York against the Islanders, continues in Philadelphia for a game with the Flyers on Saturday and ends in Montreal against the Canadiens next Monday, but still is a couple of weeks away from suiting up.

It has been a longer rehabilitation period than Tucker and the Leafs originally were banking on. Since suffering the injury on Dec. 26 against the Minnesota Wild, Tucker has been in one game, on Jan. 1 versus the Boston Bruins, and has missed each of the past 18.

Tucker's 19 goals have him tied for second on the club with Jeff O'Neill, and he has a team-high 13 power-play goals, but the Leafs have won 11 games since he played on New Year's Day.

For someone as competitive as Tucker, the role as spectator has been tough.

"It's always difficult when you are hurt," Tucker said. "You (get paid) to play this game, you don't do it to sit in the stands."


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