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THOMAS ACTIVATED: Tim Thomas is Back, Jacob Markstrom and Alex Petrovic Returned

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

The Panthers should have Tim Thomas back in net Saturday against visiting Detroit after he was activated off the injured list Tuesday.

Thomas has been out since injuring his groin during practice soon after beating the Red Wings 3-2 on Dec. 10. If Thomas starts, that would mean he will have started three straight games against the Red Wings (Dec. 7, 10 and 27th).

Jacob Markstrom, who had been backing up Scott Clemmensen, was sent back to AHL San Antonio. Defenseman Alex Petrovic was also returned to the Rampage after making his season debut Monday against the Lightning.

Thomas has been on the IR three times this season.

-- Forward Jesse Winchester has a cast on his hand after getting hurt blocking a shot in Montreal on Dec. 15. He's expected to be out another few games at the least.