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Sabres LW Leino close to return

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)

Buffalo Sabres forward Ville Leino could be ready to make his season debut as early as next week after missing the first 25 games with an injury to his right hip.

In ruling out Leino from playing at Philadelphia on Sunday, interim coach Ron Rolston called it a ''strong possibility'' he could play Tuesday, when Buffalo hosts the New York Rangers.

Leino practiced for a fourth straight day Friday. That's a turnaround from last month, when there were concerns he was going to require surgery.

Rolston ruled out Andrej Sekera from playing Sunday, after the defenseman was hurt in the third period of a 3-2 shootout loss at New Jersey on Thursday. Defenseman Jordan Leopold is close to returning after missing eight games with an upper body injury.

Tagged: Sabres, Ville Leino

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