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Devils G Brodeur back on ice after spraining his right knee; no timetable on his return

NEWARK, N.J. - A little more than a week after spraining his right knee, New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur has started skating again.

Devils coach Jacques Lemaire said Brodeur skated on his own Tuesday at the Prudential Center. The 38-year-old goaltender hopes to skate again Wednesday, if his knee feels OK.

"He was on the ice today for a little while and came off," Lemaire said, "so he should go back on tomorrow."

The Devils have not announced a timetable for Brodeur's return. He has missed three games since being injured in the first period of a 4-1 win over Montreal on Feb. 6.

Johan Hedberg has replaced him the past three games, giving up four goals in winning all three games. New Jersey has posted a 12-1-2 record in its last 15 games to give it a faint hope of making the playoffs for a 14th straight season after a dismal start to the year that eventually cost coach John MacLean his job.

Lemaire, who replaced MacLean, did not say how long Brodeur skated, but he noted he had no problems.

"He wanted to (skate)," Lemaire said, "because he felt better."

The Devils placed Brodeur on injured reserve Tuesday, retroactive to Feb. 6. The move clears the way for him to return whenever he is healthy. He was not in the locker room after practice.

The Devils, who have not played since beating San Jose, 2-1, on Friday, will play the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Rangers in Newark on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. They will face Carolina on the road again on Saturday. Hedberg will probably start all three.

"It's what I do for a living," Hedberg said. "I'm told to play, I'll play."

Veteran forward Brian Rolston said that Brodeur will be back when he is ready.

"Whoever we practise with is our guy," Rolston said. "Heddy has been awesome for us, and we expect him to continue to be awesome for us. We feel very confident with him and when Marty comes back, Marty comes back."



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