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Stars' Philip Larsen Could Return Thursday; Ray Whitney Improving But Still Out

Philip Larsen practiced Tuesday and will be 'available' to Glen Gulutzan and staff on Thursday when the Stars take on the defending champs at Staples Center.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Reports from Frisco Tuesday courtesy of Mike Heika and Mark Stepneski suggest that Philip Larsen could re-enter the lineup Thursday night at Staples Center when the Dallas Stars take on the Los Angeles Kings.

Larsen suffered an apparent upper-body injury, feared to be concussion related against the San Jose Sharks at home on Feburary 23rd and has missed the Stars' last four games. It has since been said that it was a concern with his shoulder, though he was never placed on IR.

Larsen practiced with Trevor Daley, who has been skating along side Jordie Benn in recent contests. Aaron Rome remains out with a foot injury.

"Larsen looks pretty good, so he'll be available certainly for us on Thursday," said Gulutzan following practice.

"He's such a good skater, and to be real effective here he's got to be a good quick-first-pass guy," Gulutzan added. "I think that's what he brings to us."

Ray Whitney has been skating with the team at times, including for a portion of practice today, but Gulutzan emphasized that he's not that close.

"The foot hasn't completely healed," he said of Whitney. "He's probably ahead of where most guys would be at as far as pain tolerance goes and he can get out there and do that (practice) but he can't come in until the injury heals. It's as simple as that."

It's been a little over four weeks since Whitney was placed on IR and declared out "four to six" weeks.

Derek Roy did not practice today, opting to take caution with the groin that's given him trouble in recent weeks.

From the sounds of the tweets coming out of today's session the Stars didn't run much in the way of line combinations, focusing largely on special teams work. Dallas has connected on 5 of its last 19 power play attempts (26%) and sit at 17.7% on the season, currently 14th best in the NHL.