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Bozak, Clarkson miss start of Maple Leafs camp with lower-body injuries

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

TORONTO - Tyler Bozak and David Clarkson both missed the first practice day of Toronto Maple Leafs training camp with lower-body injuries, and coach Randy Carlyle didn't say when he expects either player to be ready.

Bozak and Clarkson suffered the injuries in pre-training camp workouts, according to Carlyle, who said they made "small amounts of improvement" from Friday to Saturday.

After the players were deemed less than 100 per cent by doctors after Thursday's medical testing, the Leafs held them out of on-ice testing and are being cautious.

"We really don't foresee this (as) something that's going to carry on to any extended period of time, and we were kind of surprised that we didn't have them available to us," Carlyle said.

Clarkson took part in Thursday's media-day proceedings and said "this was the first summer in a while I've been healthy." After a disappointing first season in Toronto, the right-winger said he was looking forward to getting a better start this time around.

Bozak, the Leafs' first-line centre, has not spoken to reporters since camp began.

The first pre-season game is Monday against the Philadelphia Flyers in London, Ont. Though nothing's official, don't expect either Bozak or Clarkson to take part.

"We have players who are injured that'll come back off of the injured (list), but I don't foresee us playing players off of (the) morning skate," Carlyle said. "We're not going to put a player, a Bozak or a Clarkson, into a game just having one morning skate or one day of practice underneath him. We think that's counterproductive."

Defenceman Stephane Robidas took part in practice drills but not scrimmage action Saturday as he works back from breaking his right leg in the playoffs while with the Anaheim Ducks. Robidas has set opening night, Oct. 8, as a goal, and general manager Dave Nonis said the 37-year-old was on target as far as his rehab.

Robidas did some solo skating Saturday at the team's practice facility but stayed out of the fire of game work.

"Roby, in his mind he's healed, but there is a time frame that we're going to adhere to from the medical people," Carlyle said. "We feel like we're acting cautiously and in the best interest of the player."

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