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Bertuzzi doubtful to play before deadline


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Bertuzzi may not play before deadline

Bob McKenzie


2/10/2007 10:24:25 AM


As interested as some NHL teams are in considering Todd Bertuzzi as a trade deadline acquisition, there's no guarantee the big Florida Panther winger will be able to play for Florida before the Feb. 27 deadline.


While no official date for his return after rehabilitation from back surgery was ever set, the Panthers were hopeful of Bertuzzi being back in their lineup by the middle or end of next week. That timetable would have given Bertuzzi a week or more before the deadline to strut his stuff for a number of teams that have some degree of interest in him.


But after joining the team on the road and practicing hard with teammates, sources say Bertuzzi has discovered he is perhaps not quite as ready as he thought he would be. The target of about a week from now seems extremely doubtful.


It is not considered a major setback, but could be enough to affect teams that were considering Bertuzzi as a potential stretch-drive pickup.

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