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Flyers activate centre Danny Briere from injured reserve list

PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Flyers activated centre Danny Briere from injured reserve Saturday, and expected to have him in the lineup Sunday in New Jersey after a 36-game absence because of groin injuries.

The Flyers also recalled defenceman Nate Guenin from the Philadelphia Phantoms, and loaned right winger Claude Giroux and defenceman Lasse Kukkonen to the American Hockey League affiliate.

On Thursday, the Flyers waived centre Glen Metropolit and defenceman Ossi Vaananen to clear salary cap space for Briere. Metropolit was claimed by Montreal, and helped the Canadiens beat the Flyers on Friday night. Vancouver took Vaananen.

Briere, in the second year of a US$52-million, eight-year contract, has played only nine games this season - none since injuring his groin against Tampa Bay on Dec. 2.

He was expected to be out for up to a month after late October surgery on a torn abdominal muscle, then returned two weeks later and scored a goal in his first game back. Briere was hurt again in mid-November against the New York Islanders, sat out nine games, then left against the Lightening because of a strained groin. There was a conditioning stint with the Phantoms in January, then more surgery later that month to free an entrapped nerve in his groin.

Last season, he had 31 goals and 72 points and helped Philadelphia go from the worst team in the NHL to the Eastern Conference finals.

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