Leclerc Gets OK to Step It Up

Times Staff Writer

Forward Mike Leclerc received the best of news from his recent doctor's appointment and still figures to be six weeks away from returning to the lineup.

Leclerc, who underwent surgery on his left knee in June, went to Cleveland for a status examination, which included an MRI, on Monday. He has experienced little pain and no swelling in recent weeks and received permission to increase his workouts.

"We're on track," Leclerc said. "It is still a six-week progression. I can start skating harder, riding the bike harder and work to get my muscles back."

Leclerc said he would increase his workout each week until he is ready. The plan is for him to skate briefly one day next week, then two days the following week, and so on.

"They want to build me up to skating six days per week," Leclerc said. "I can skate until it gets sore or my muscles get tired. The next step, when I feel like skating with the team, is to call [the doctor] and discuss it and then make a decision."

The Ducks have missed Leclerc, a power forward who scored nine goals despite playing with an injured knee most of last season. He had two goals and 11 points during the playoffs.

"It's probably better that I have not been at the rink every day seeing guys, especially if we're losing," Leclerc said.

"I would want to be out there helping them out. I've accepted that my goal is to have a long career and I have to take care of my leg so in the future I can help the team."


Kurt Sauer, who missed six games with a sprained left ankle, returned to the lineup Wednesday.... Joffrey Lupul, scratched as a coach's decision against Nashville on Friday, was put back in the lineup.... Forward Craig Johnson and defenseman Todd Simpson were scratched Wednesday.

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