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Mats an All-Star no go

Tuesday, 01.28.2003 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Mats an All-Star no go
(CP) - Mario Lemieux and Mats Sundin joined the growing list of NHL all-star dropouts Tuesday.

Lemieux decided after skating Tuesday that he will not return to action until after the all-star break this weekend in order to continue his recovery from a groin injury that has kept him out of eight of the last nine games.

"The recovery from this groin injury has taken a little longer than I'd hoped," Lemieux said in Pittsburgh. "I am making improvement, but I'm not going to be ready for game action until at least next week."

Lemieux leads the NHL in scoring with 68 points in 41 games.

Sundin has been playing with a sore shoulder, an injury which was serious enough in early January to keep him out of four games.

Tampa Bay centre Vincent Lecavalier and Buffalo winger Miroslav Satan were added to the roster to replace Lemieux and Sundin for Sunday's game.

Lecavalier, who has 21 goals and 25 assists this season, will be making his all-star debut. Satan, who's recorded 18 goals and 27 assists, will make his second all-star appearance.

Maple Leafs goalie Ed Belfour dropped out Monday, opting to stay home to rest. He's been bothered by back spasms. It's a recurring problem that has sidelined him twice this season. Ottawa's Patrick Lalime was named to replace Belfour.

Also advising the league Monday that they won't go to Sunrise were Montreal captain Saku Koivu, who is to undergo tests to evaluate his recovery from the cancer that took him out of hockey most of last season, and Rangers defenceman Brian Leetch, who hasn't played in weeks because of a foot injury. Florida's Olli Jokinen and the Rangers' Tom Poti were named as replacements.

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