Ward, Gleason return to practice

Posted by Chip Alexander on November 10, 2013 

For the first time since preseason training camp, the Canes on Sunday had more than two goalies on the ice for practice.

Cam Ward joined Justin Peters and Mike Murphy for the practice session at PNC Arena, moving well in net and getting in a lot of work. Ward has not played since suffering a lower-body injury Oct. 24 against the Minnesota Wild.

Defenseman Tim Gleason also was at practice Sunday. Gleason has missed the past four games with an upper-body injury.

Canes coach Kirk Muller said Ward and Gleason both needed a little more practice time before rejoining the lineup, meaning neither could be available Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche.

Muller said Ward told him that Sunday was a "good day" on the ice and he was feeling good.

"He said (Monday) he wanted to get a full practice in with the guys," Muller said. "We'll monitor as the practice goes along."

Muller said he wanted both Ward and Gleason "pain-free" before putting them back in the lineup, even in using Ward as a backup.

"He needs to be healthy, 100 percent," Muller said of Ward. "This isn't something where you say, 'Hey, he's 90-something as a player.' He needs to be 100 percent and he needs practices and he needs to be looking sharp and confident.

"When he's 100 percent and he's gotten a few practices and he's feeling good, mentally and physically, then I can honestly say he'll jump in."

As for Gleason, Muller said a decision could be made after Monday's practice as to "where he's at."

"We've got a quick team coming in," Muller said. "We need to see where (Gleason) is at and if he's able to catch up to the pace … to be able to jump into a hockey game."

Gleason missed the first 10 games of the season because of a concussion sustained in a fight in a preseason game. He returned Oct. 25 for the road game against the Avs and played three games before the upper-body injury.

Another decision to be made: when Gleason does go back into the lineup, who comes out? The pairings of Justin Faulk-Andrej Sekera, Jay Harrison-Ryan Murphy and Ron Hainsey-Brett Bellemore have all been solid and effective the past few games.

"I think our D are playing well," Muller said.

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