Feb 4, 2013, 6:46 PM EST
The Florida Panthers are starting to round into solid health in early February. Now they can add a big, first-round defenseman into the mix.
After requiring shoulder surgery and an injury suspension from the team thanks to a wakeboarding accident, Erik Gudbranson is set to return to NHL action.
He’s been called up by the team, yet head coach Kevin Dineen told the Miami Herald that he’s unsure if he’ll make his 2013 Tuesday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.
“He’s accomplishing everything we want,” Dineen said. “I haven’t made the final decision on if he plays or not. He’s been out for seven months. We’re finally getting guys back, getting into the groove of playing. He’s still working his way through it.”
The 21-year-old defenseman went through his rookie season in 2011-12, playing in 72 regular season and all seven postseason games. Florida might just need him with Ed Jovanovski (knee) and Mike Weaver (hip) a bit banged up.
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