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Canada

Leafs’ Gardiner will return on Wednesday if back troubles clear up

The Maple Leafs won’t hold Jake Gardiner back.

If the defenceman’s back spasms clear up, he will be in the lineup on Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals, the Leafs’ final game before their bye week.

“If Jake can go, Jake’s going,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said on Monday.

Gardiner didn’t practise the day after missing the Leafs’ loss against the Arizona Coyotes, when Martin Marincin took his place in the lineup and Travis Dermott moved into a top-four role.

And Tuesday marks one month since winger Tyler Ennis suffered a broken ankle in a game against the New York Rangers.

When Ennis returns is unknown, but Babcock has been keeping tabs.

“He has something to say every day, so that’s good,” Babcock said. “He’s full of piss and vinegar, to say the least. He’s in a good mood, he is in here every day, he is working hard. I don’t know (when Ennis will be back).”

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