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Playoff Injury Update: Daniel Sedin, Jeff Carter, Jonathan Toews

(4/9/12) With the first round of the NHL playoffs just days away, we have some last minute updates on the status of several key players.  

First up, we were growing more and more concerned about Daniel Sedin as he remained in the shadows the last week, but it sounds like fantasy owners can finally exhale.  He missed the final nine games with a concussion, but he participated in practice today without limitation, and he's cleared for contact.  Barring a set-back, we tentatively expect to see Daniel on the ice against the Kings in Game One.  

We also have an update on Jeff Carter, who missed the final five games of the season with an ankle injury.  He practiced today, and it seems more than 50% likely that he'll be able go in Game One against the Canucks.  The picture should become more clear over the next couple of days. 

In Chicago, the big question mark remains the status of Jonathan Toews.  At today's practice, he skated on a line with Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, and it was the hardest he's pushed himself since suffering a concussion in mid-February.  He's expected to be a game-time decision Thursday against the Coyotes.  Regardless, he's very close, and he should return for at least part of the series.

Also for the Hawks, playoff superman Dave Bolland missed the final two games of the year with an upper-body injury, but he's probable for Game One.  And Andrew Brunette is also expected to be active - he missed the final three contests with a lower-body injury.

For the Bruins, Tuukka Rask missed the final month of the season with a groin strain, but today he faced shots during practice for the first time since the injury.  He's still questionable to be the back-up for Tim Thomas in Game One, but it looks like he'll be available before the end of the first round.  In the meantime, Marty Turco will keep the bench warm.

As well, defenseman Johnny Boychuk is probable for Game One against the Caps.  He suffered a sprained left knee Apr. 3 in a collision with Arron Asham and he's still a little sore, but hey, it's the playoffs!  He'll be out there.  Meanwhile, Nathan Horton gave it a whirl and skated last week, but he's still having concussion symptoms and it's highly unlikely we'll see him during the postseason.

The Bs' first round opponent is also dealing with uncertainty between the pipes.  Tomas Vokoun looks to be out long-term with a groin strain, and Michal Neuvirth took the ice this morning, but according to the Washington Post, did not look 100%.  Neuvirth tested things out before practice, but did not join his teammates for the full session, and he remains questionable for the start of the series.  Our guess is that Braden Holtby ends up manning the crease in Game One, then Neuvirth takes over later in the first round.    

For Detroit, Dan Cleary (Knee) is probable to start against the Preds, Jakub Kindl (Undisclosed) is questionable, and Darren Helm (Knee) is doubtful.  Helm is expected to return for Game Two.  

However, the news regarding Wings back-up netminder Joey Macdonald doesn't sound good.  He's still battling back spasms and may end up missing the playoffs.  Ty Conklin takes over in his absence.

Detroit's opponent is relatively healthy going into their first round battle.  The only notable injury for the Predators is to Anders Lindbeck.  The Preds back-up goalie sustained a minor upper-body injury in the final game, but he's fine and will be on the bench for Game One.

A team that isn't so healthy is the Flyers.  Danny Briere is still hurting after a huge hit from Joe Vitale last weekend, and most reports are saying he won't be ready to start the playoffs.  However, we've got the scoop that Briere was on the ice today skating as normal - no limitations, no non-contact jersey - and the Flyers are notoriously secretive regarding injuries.  If he doesn't go in Game One, our guess is he makes an appearance soon after.  

Also for Philly, James van Riemsdyk and Andrej Meszaros won't play in the playoffs unless the Flyers make a deep run.  Round One is basically out of the question, although van Riemsdyk could possibly go by the second round, while Meszaros probably wouldn't be back until Round Three.  But, on a positive note, defenseman Nicklas Grossman, who missed the final three contests with a knee injury, is expected to be available for the Flyers' first game against the Penguins.  

Speaking of the Penguins, they have a trio of players who rested for the final two games of the season, but James Neal, Steve Sullivan, and Matt Niskanen are all full-go and ready for the start of the series.  

The Sharks face a tough battle against the Blues, and it might be even tougher if Ryane Clowe isn't ready for Game One.  Clowe is listed with an undisclosed injury and should be considered questionable to start the series.  A couple of other Sharks are also questionable - Torrey Mitchell (Undisclosed), and Colin White (Upper-body).

Meanwhile, a pair of Devils missed the final regular season game, but David Clarkson (Lower-body) and Anton Volchenkov (Flu) should both be available to start the series against the Panthers.

And another player ready to go, Chris Neil missed the final game with an upper-body ailment, but he should be fine for the Senators' first game against the Rangers.   

That's it, you're up to date and ready to draft!  Good luck in your pool!