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Gunnarsson hurt in practice after collision with teammate

The Toronto Maple Leafs could be down one of their top defencemen as they head West for a big game with the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

Leafs blueliner Carl Gunnarsson appeared to hurt his leg in practice Monday after colliding with teammate Jay Rosehill and immediately left the ice in pain.

Coach Ron Wilson said Gunnarsson will undergo tests in Calgary – where the team was flying after practice – to determine the extent of the damage.

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"We're not sure [how he's doing]" Wilson said. "He's going to need an image on it so we'll wait until we get to Calgary and then he'll go and have it checked out. Hopefully it's not too serious.

"[It was an accident]more or less. It's a drill we've done 15 times this year and unfortunately he was slipping going in and so was Rosy and they both crashed into the boards."

If Gunnarsson is unable to play against the Flames, Mike Komisarek will come back into the lineup after sitting the last six games as a healthy scratch. (Part of a $7.5-million tandem they had in the press box on Saturday between he and Colby Armstrong.)

Gunnarsson is one of the more underrated players on the Leafs, as he has quietly logged more than 22 minutes a night (second on the team) against other team's top lines and done a servicable job.

For a guy making only $1.325-million this season and next, he's been a bargain.

There's also the issue that Gunnarsson plays the left side and Komisarek the right, meaning one of the team's right side defenders is going to have to switch over if he can't play Tuesday.

Dion Phaneuf, Gunnarsson's regular partner, is probably the leading candidate given he's played a little on the left side with Luke Schenn.

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There's also a debate to be had over who could be recalled from the minors, Keith Aulie or Korbinian Holzer, as both youngsters play the left side.

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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