Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul has been medically cleared to play against the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday after missing seven games due to a groin injury.
Lupul suffered a Grade 2 groin strain in a 6-0 loss to Columbus on Nov. 25 while battling for position with Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray.
He said he was in a situation where he can’t come in and make an impact in the game, but he feels he could be a factor now.
The Maple Leafs went 2-3-2 in Lupul’s absence.
However, the Maple Leafs will have to do without captain Dion Phaneuf on defense, who is serving the first of a two-game suspension for a hit from behind on Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller Sunday. Mark Fraser will enter the lineup in his place, and Morgan Rielly will be scratched for the fourth game in a row.
“It’s one of the things you have to deal with,” Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. “We’ve had our fair share of controversy and not a stable lineup.”
Ex-LA King Jonathan Bernier was the first goalie off at the morning skate and he’ll get the start against his former team.