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Connolly unlikely for Saturday, Franson set for Leafs debut

TSN.ca Staff

10/11/2011 1:51:49 PM

It is looking less and less likely that Toronto Maple Leafs centre Tim Connolly will be ready to go when the team takes on Calgary this Saturday.

Connolly, who has been recovering from an upper-body injury suffered two weeks ago, left practice on Tuesday after just 15 minutes. He had made it through approximately 45 minutes on Monday and has yet to engage in physical contact.

The Leafs signed the talented but often injured centreman to a two-year $9.5 million deal this summer. When healthy, Connolly is expected to centre the Leafs' top line between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.

Clarke MacArthur though, was back at practice on Tuesday after missing Monday's with an elbow infection.

MacArthur is due to return from suspension and make his season debut against the Flames. He was suspended for the first two games of the regular season for a hit on Detroit's Justin Abdelkader during the pre-season.

Cody Franson is also expected to make his Leafs debut on Saturday. Head coach Ron Wilson said Tuesday that he would insert Franson into the lineup for the first time, although he declined to say whose spot Franson would take.

Meanwhile, Nazem Kadri continues to recover from a knee injury and could be ready to play later this week. If Kadri is ready to go before Saturday's game, the Leafs would have 24 healthy bodies and need to make a decision on what to do with him.

The likely scenario is that Kadri would be assigned to the AHL Toronto Marlies for the weekend.