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Panthers Walking Wounded Close to Return: Versteeg, Kulikov, Upshall Back Saturday?

Versteeg3Kevin Dineen smiled when asked about his injured players working out on Thursday.

He's about to get a few more options when it comes to his lineup. 

Kris Versteeg (hip), Dmitry Kulikov (knee surgery) and Scottie Upshall (sports hernia surgery) won't play tonight against the Bruins. But they all could be options for Saturday's game against Kulikov2the Sabres.

All three were in a good mood today as they talked about potentially coming back this week with Upshall saying he feels great.

Dineen knows he hasn't seen what Upshall can do this season because he had been battling that sports hernia thing all year. Dineen, you can bet, will wait until he thinks Upshall Upshall2is 100 percent before he brings him back.

Having a few options on the forward lines allows him this.

Jose Theodore is back in net tonight against the Bruins; Mike Santorelli will be a healthy scratch.

-- As is usally the case with the Panthers, not all the news is positive on the injury front.

As expected, Dineen said he doesn't think Jack Skille Skille3(shoulder) will suit up again this season. Even if he doesn't need surgery, the rehab alone will take too long for him to come back. 

Skille is signed with the Panthers through next season.

-- With Kulikov on the verge of returning, Tyson Strachan was returned to the AHL San Antonio Rampage on Thursday.


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Sucks to see Strachan go down. I would rather have him than Ellerby up with the team.

I can't wait to see Kulikov back in the lineup, that makes this team that much better. Upshall blows, that doesn't do a thing for the team.

Steeger would be a nice offensive addition.

Lets make a run at 2nd place.

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