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Primeau nears return for Leafs Add to ...

Wayne Primeau hopes to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup by Tuesday night after missing seven games with a knee injury.

"It could be," the veteran centre said of his chances of playing against the Atlanta Thrashers after an extended skating session Monday afternoon before the Leafs played the Nashville Predators on Monday night. "It's something I'll have to talk to the trainers about."

Primeau was injured Jan. 2 in a game against his former team, the Calgary Flames. His absence has made the Leafs' penalty killing even worse than its usual mediocre standard, which is the worst in the 30-team NHL with a 68.6-per-cent success rate.

Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said he will put Primeau back in the lineup against the Thrashers "if he feels good."

The Leafs also hope to get defenceman Mike Komisarek back in the lineup before the end of their five-game road trip. He suffered what is thought to be a shoulder injury in the same game as Primeau.

Wilson said Monday that Komisarek is working out at home and will join the team when it heads to Florida on Wednesday for games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers on Thursday and Saturday.

"Hopefully, he will play there," Wilson said, although he did not specify in which game he expects Komisarek to make his return.

Rookie Jonas Gustavsson will start in goal for the Leafs against the Predators with Vesa Toskala expected to finish the back-to-back set of road games on Tuesday against the Thrashers.

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