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Tampa Bay Lightning LW Simon Gagne to play after missing 18 games with neck injury



After missing 18 straight games with muscle and nerve inflammation and swelling in the back of his neck, left wing Simon Gagne was scheduled to play Tuesday night for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Maple Leafs.

Gagne hasn't played since an Oct. 21 game with the Islanders in which he was checked hard into the side boards by wing Michael Grabner. He also sustained a hard hit from Flames defenseman Mark Giordano in a preseason game at Calgary. Gagne said doctors had told him his injury, which the team insisted was not a concussion, was from an accumulation of hits.

Gagne has had various symptoms, including blurry vision when he moved his head quickly and pressure, especially in his forehead, after strenuous workouts.

"I'm looking forward to coming back," Gagne said before the game, "and playing my way back to where I can be."

Gagne, 30, has zero points and is minus-8 in six games.    

[Last modified: Thursday, December 30, 2010 12:15am]


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