Gunnarsson injury not serious

Toronto Maple Leafs Carl Gunnarsson collides with Minnesota Wild Darroll Powe behind the Leafs net...

Toronto Maple Leafs Carl Gunnarsson collides with Minnesota Wild Darroll Powe behind the Leafs net in the first period of their NHL hockey game in Toronto Jan. 19, 2012. (REUTERS/Fred Thornhill)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:59 PM ET

Listen closely back in Toronto, and you can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from Maple Leafs management coming from all the way here in Calgary.

With initial fears flowing from coach Ron Wilson to general manager Brian Burke that young defenceman Carl Gunnarsson had suffered a long-term injury after colliding with hulking forward Jay Rosehill during practice on Monday, a thorough examination of the promising Swede brought good news.

According to Wilson, Gunnarsson suffered a mild sprain of the lower ankle and will only miss about seven days, a far better prognosis than had initially been thought.

“It’s not bad; it’s not a high ankle sprain like we feared,” Wilson said after his Leafs had completed their morning skate at the Saddledome on Tuesday in preparation for their game against the Calgary Flames.

In order to make certain the team had enough blue line help on the team’s western Canadian swing through Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver this week, the Leafs called up former Flame Keith Aulie from the AHL Marlies.

While Aulie did take part in the Leafs workout at the Saddledome, he is expected to be the seventh defenceman heading into the Toronto-Calgary game on Tuesday and will likely watch the action from the press box.

The man who will be stepping into Gunnarsson’s spot in the lineup against the Flames will be veteran Mike Komisarek, who has not played a game in two weeks. Komisarek’s last appearance came in Toronto’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Consol Energy Center back on Jan. 31.

“Mike knows how to prepare himself,” Wilson said. “You just hope he doesn’t have too much rust.”

After James Reimer turned in a wobbly performance in Toronto’s 5-0 loss on Mats Sundin’s banner-raising night on Saturday, Jonas Gustavsson will get the call against the Flames on Tuesday. Wilson would not tip his hand as to whether he would come back with Reimer against the Oilers in Edmonton on Wednesday, the second half of back-to-back games here in Alberta.

The Flames, meanwhile, are so banged up, coach Brent Sutter will move winger Mike Cammalleri to centre between Tom Kostopoulos and Blake Comeau on the team’s second line. Cammalleri, who considers himself a natural centre, has not played the position since he was with AHL Manchester during the ugly NHL lockout of 2004-05.

Miikka Kiprusoff is expected to be between the pipes for the Flames.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/zeisberger


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