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Svoboda awaits docs' okay

Lightning defenseman Petr Svoboda, who suffered a concussion against Phoenix Dec. 14 and hasn't played since, said Saturday that he will return to the team when doctors give him the go-ahead.

"No question," the 17-year-veteran said during Tampa Bay's game against Boston at the Ice Palace.

Svoboda was injured in the first period on a check by Shane Doan. The shaft of Svoboda's stick cut his nose.

"I've had concussions before, never really had anything that's dragged on this long," said Svoboda, who is not allowed to drive a car.

"Christmas passed by without me even really knowing it was Christmas. It's very difficult for me."

Svoboda said he is scheduled to meet with a doctor on Tuesday and have a second MRI on Wednesday. He said he is experiencing dull headaches and gets tired easily but is sleeping well.

Svoboda, who missed 15 games because of injuries this season, has one goal and three assists in 19 games.

"All I do is watch hockey games," he said. "When you do something for so many years, it's actually sad you don't know how to do anything else."

_ KEVIN KELLY

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