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    Monday, February 2, 1998

    Linden's limbo to end soon

    By The Canadian Press
     Vancouver Canucks centre Trevor Linden will know today whether he's going to Nagano for next week's Winter Olympics.
     Linden, who is slated to play right wing for the Canadian Olympic hockey team, skated Monday for the first time since spraining his left knee in a game against Phoenix last week.
     "The only person who knows how I feel is me," Linden told TSN on Monday. "It's going to be tough for a trainer or a doctor to say if I can or cannot play.
     "The question is, how am I going to feel all week? These are things that are tough for me even to answer."
     Canucks coach Mike Keenan thinks Linden will be fine.
     "It's really up to Trevor," Keenan said Monday. "Medically he should be fine ... (Team Canada) doesn't play for another week. I can't see any reason why he shouldn't be able to go."
     One thing is for sure, if Linden can't go to Japan then Mark Recchi of the Montreal Canadiens will. Team Canada GM Bobby Clarke has confirmed that Recchi would be the replacement player for an injured Linden. Montreal GM Rejean Houle, however, said Monday that Clarke hadn't confirmed it with him.
     There are other minor injuries woes for the Canadian team. Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings, who is also a right-winger for the Olympic team, is still recovering from a charley horse and sprained medial collateral ligament to his left knee.
     Yzerman, who suffered the injury on a knee from Phoenix winger Rick Tocchet last Wednesday, skated Sunday and may play tonight in Florida.
     Meanwhile, Anaheim Mighty Ducks forward Paul Kariya was examined by doctors Monday after suffering a head injury in Sunday's game against Chicago.
     Kariya, who scored twice prior to being injured, was knocked down by Chicago's Gary Suter with a stick to the head in the 4-3 Anaheim win. No penalty was assessed.
     Kariya, who is to be major part of Canada's attack in Nagano, suffered a slight concussion and a jaw contusion. He did not practise Monday, is listed as day-to-day and is doubtful for Wednesday's game against the New York Rangers, a Ducks spokesman said.
     Also, Montreal left-winger Shayne Corson is due to return from a hip flexor when the Canadiens visit the Islanders in Uniondale, N.Y. tonight.