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Max Comtois makes immediate impact in return to Ducks’ lineup

ANAHEIM — For Ducks forward Max Comtois, there is little drama associated with all of the injury-related stops and starts to a hockey season.

He has come to understand the drill.

“I’ve never played a full season in my life,” Comtois was saying after Tuesday’s morning skate. “Even in junior. So I’m used to that. That’s part of hockey. I know I’m going to get hurt down the road again. To me, I just work hard and do my rehab well and I’m back tonight.

“And I wouldn’t be back if I wasn’t ready

Comtois missed 11 consecutive games because of a high ankle sprain and drew back into the lineup against the Carolina Hurricanes, playing in his first game since Nov. 12 against Chicago. Before the injury, he had four goals in 15 games and was minus-three

With forwards Isac Lundestrom and Derek Grant getting hurt in back-to-game games in Dallas and Minnesota, respectively, on the recently completed road trip, it was fortuitous timing that Comtois was ready to get back in the lineup. Better yet, he scored in the first period against Carolina.

“We just want him to get in and have solid minutes,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “He’s been out for awhile and worked extremely hard while we were gone with (skills and development coach) Larry Barron. The medical guys say he is ready to play. Larry says he’s ready to play.

“I’d like to have him have a practice,  but he’s been in the league long enough so he can jump right in there and get going. It’s a simple game for (Comtois), straight lines, get to the net, be physical.”

He was spared the boredom of skating by himself, able to go through the paces with defenseman John Klingberg (lower-body injury), who hasn’t played since Nov. 23.

“I wasn’t out too long so it wasn’t too bad,” Comtois said. “I had Klinger too with me. It’s easier that way when you’ve got somebody to skate with. It’s hard not being around the guys.”

Klingberg participated in the morning skate but did not play against the Hurricanes. With the injuries up front, the Ducks went with an 11/7 lineup – 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

So, how close is Klingberg to returning?

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