A week into Toronto Maple Leafs training camp, Joffrey Lupul is ready to participate.
The 29-year-old winger, who’s been out with a back injury, skated with teammates for the first time this season on Wednesday, taking line rushes alongside center Tyler Bozak and fellow winger Phil Kessel.
Lupul, who was held out of action with back spasms, missed pair of exhibition contests against Philadelphia. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready to play in Thursday’s tilt against Ottawa, though one suspects the Leafs won’t rush him back to action given his importance to the club.
This marks the first season of Lupul’s five-year, $26.25 million extension signed last season. It also marks an opportunity to put aside the health issues that marred his 2013 campaign.
Lupul missed extensive time last season with a broken arm, concussion and suspension but, when healthy, was a dynamic presence. Lupul scored 18 points in 16 regular season games and three goals in seven postseason contests against Boston, second on the team to Kessel (who led, with four).