Leafs D Komisarek still waiting for green light to play Staff

1/30/2010 9:02:56 PM

Maple Leafs veteran defenceman Mike Komisarek has not received medical clearance from team doctors to return to action and remained out of Toronto's lineup when they hosted the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

''I'm itching to get back in the lineup. I definitely want to be in there helping out the team but I still haven't been cleared for physical contact,'' Komisarek said following Saturday's morning skate. ''I got evaluated last Wednesday and they didn't think that this weekend was going to be a possibility.''

Komisarek, out since Jan. 2 with a shoulder injury, targeted Saturday's contest as his return date but remained in the press box for the 5-3 loss.

Following the game, head coach Ron Wilson said that the blueliner was still four or five games away from returning to the lineup.

''I can argue and try to debate my side but it's their decision,'' Komisarek said. ''All I can do is prepare myself for when I do get that chance.''

Komisarek is also approaching the Olympic deadline for his inclusion on the United States squad.

Team USA general manager Brian Burke and head coach Ron Wilson have both maintained that any player on the American squad will have to play at least five NHL games prior to the Olympics to ensure they're healthy and ready to play.

For Komisarek, the opportunity to go to Vancouver in February would be a dream come true, but he also understands where his obligation lies.

''It's definitely in the back of your mind, but my first priority is coming back and helping this team,'' Komisarek said. ''We're in a critical stretch of the season and we're having tough times winning games. I want to contribute and want to play.

''My priority and obligation is first and foremost with the Leafs and that's my goal and objective.''

In 34 games this year, the 28-year old has posted four assists and 40 penalty minutes with a minus- 9 ranking.