Waiting for Gunnarsson

ROB LONGLEY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

So desperate are the Maple Leafs for any sort of boost that the likely return this week of defenceman Carl Gunnarsson is welcome news.

The rookie Swede impressed in his first handful of games with the Leafs, but he has missed the past 21 with an elbow injury.

“I sure hope (he returns),” Leafs coach Ron Wilson said yesterday. “We need some foot speed on the back end and he played so well.

“I don’t think he has to go down (to the Marlies for conditioning.) He has earned his spot here.”

The potential return of fellow blue-liner Mike Komisarek isn’t so imminent. Wilson said that Komisarek, who has missed the past three games with an upper-body injury, is a week to 10 days away from getting back in the lineup.

“It’s a muscle injury and he’s just got to slow down and let it recover,” Wilson said. “He has to slow the process down.”

— Longley


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