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Good news in the Tampa Bay Lightning's injury report



The Tampa Bay Lightning likely will get back one of its injured players for Tuesday's game with the Blue Jackets and is close to getting back a second.

Defenseman Kurtis Foster, who was knocked woozy on Thursday when his head hit the glass after he was hit from behind by Boston's Shawn Thornton, practiced Monday and said he is ready to go. Coach Rick Tocchet reiterated that as well. Left wing Ryan Malone also practiced with the team for the first time since a March 15 arthroscopic procedure on his left knee. It was unclear if Malone would play against Columbus, and it sounded as if Tocchet was going to be cautious since Malone hasn't played since March 11 .

Malone said the structure of his knee is good and simply had some torn cartilage removed.

"It's going to relieve some of that pressure and everything," he said. "I should be good to go."

Interestingly, Malone said he originally hurt the knee during the 2007-08 playoffs with the Penguins, and said the knee surgery could have waited till the end of the season. But since he was going to be out a couple weeks to let an upper-body injury heal, might as well "kill two birds with one stone" and get the knee scoped as well.

Did the team asked him to get the procedure during the Olympics?

"Not really," he said, and added. "This year it got a little more worse and worse than it has been, but to me at the time the knee could have waited till after the season, so it wasn't a problem, especially, you know, at the Olympics."

Defenseman Matt Walker did not practice for what the team called body maintenance and is expected to play against Columbus. D Matt Smaby, who bowed out of Monday's punishment skate with what the team called back spasms, did not practice. His status for Tuesday is iffy.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 12:15am]


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