Kaberle keen to play

ROB LONGLEY

, Last Updated: 2:55 AM ET

The last thing Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle wants to do is shut down his season. So after missing 25 of the team's past 27 games with a lingering hand injury, Kaberle will return to the lineup tonight at the Air Canada Centre when the Leafs face the Philadelphia Flyers.

"It will be good to get back in there, it's been tough to watch the team," Kaberle said of the frustrating recovery from a broken bone . "Obviously you feel more like you are part of the team when you are playing. You just want to get back in there and help out."

Coach Ron Wilson said the team has been cautious not to rush Kaberle back in the lineup, giving his hand an extra 10 days to heal. But for Kaberle, he felt it was important to get back in action to take something positive into the summer.

"I just want to feel the puck, feel the legs and see what's going to happen," Kaberle said. "I think it's on everybody's mind to finish on a good note and to have something positive to take from the season."

Wilson said he doesn't expect Kaberle to play for the Czech Republic in the world championships next month in Switzerland.

"I don't think he wants to because of his injury," Wilson said yesterday. "He wouldn't want to spend the rest of the summer having to rehab his hand because of a game or two (at the world championships."

Loose Leafs

With Martin Gerber serving the final game of his three-game suspension for bumping an official last week, Curtis Joseph is expected to get the start in net for the Leafs tonight. The team also plans to recall Justin Pogge from the Marlies to back up Joseph.

Though the Leafs were on the brink of being eliminated from playoff contention prior to last night's play, the Flyers have no such worries. With 92 points, they are essentially jockeying for position in the Eastern Conference and with seven games remaining, the team is still hopeful of getting the fourth seed.

"I talked to our guys and we're looking at these seven games to narrow our focus and play with real discipline and a real playoff attitude," Flyers coach John Stevens said yesterday before the team flew to Toronto.


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