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Tomas Plekanec #14 of the Montreal Canadiens and Matthew Lombardi #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs chase the puck during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on October 22, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Leafs won 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The terrific story that was Matt Lombardi's return to the NHL could be coming to an abrupt end.

The Toronto Maple Leafs centre is currently out of the lineup with what the team is calling an upper-body injury that will keep him out a minimum of three weeks.

The word currently circulating around the league, however, is Lombardi suffered a dislocated shoulder that will likely require surgery – either now or at the end of the season, if he attempts to play through the injury.

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Given the nature of such an injury, a full recovery could take several months.

Lombardi was hurt while taking a faceoff in the second period of the Leafs' 4-1 loss in Nashville last week.

He was playing in just his 19th game since missing an entire year with a concussion suffered while with the Predators organization.

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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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