TORONTO - Jean-Sebastien Giguere plans to be back in action next Thursday against the St. Louis Blues.
Given his recurring groin ailment, he can only "hope" to return by a certain date. There are, however, no guarantees.
That's the dilemma facing the Maple Leafs goaltender these days.
Giguere, who tweaked the injury on Dec. 16 against the Calgary Flames, was on the ice for practice at the MasterCard Centre Friday afternoon "but I only faced a few shots and then went to the other side of the ice away from where the guys were (practising)."
Giguere, who did not accompany the team to Ottawa for the New Year's Day edition of the Battle of Ontario on Saturday, plans on participating in his first full practice Sunday. But even that workout won't completely ensure that he is ready for game action.
"The frustrating thing is, the other times I thought I had this beat, I felt 100%, not 90, not 80," he said. "You feel like you are ready to go. Then, all of a sudden, it re-occurs without any warning."
Jonas Gustavsson is expected to get the call against the Sens Saturday night.
A vocal Ron Wilson put the Leafs through a gruelling workout on Friday, complete with plenty of skating. "It's what we deserved," captain Dion Phaneuf said. "We haven't been as sharp as we should have been." ... Mikhail Grabovski was back at practice Friday after missing Thursday's 3-2 loss to Columbus to be with his girlfriend Kate, who gave birth to a daughter. "I'm so happy. It's half me!" he said of the baby girl, whose name is "Leeliah" - according to Grabovski's spelling, anyway ... With Grabovski back in the mix, Darryl Boyce, who took Grabovski's spot alongside Clarke MacArthur and Nikolai Kulemin Thursday, was on a line with Colby Armstrong and Kris Versteeg.