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Penguins' Letestu hoping to make return this weekend

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Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011

• Center Mark Letestu said Wednesday he could play this weekend, either at Toronto on Friday or Carolina on Saturday. Letestu, a rookie who has scored 10 goals, has not played since Jan. 25. He was injured Feb. 1 at Madison Square Garden, where his left skate caught a rut on the ice during a morning practice. He had surgery to repair a torn meniscus about a week later and received a prognosis for recovery of between four and six weeks. "It's been 18 days, and I don't feel (discomfort) anymore," he said, adding that he will start taking contact during practice today. "I don't think (playing) this weekend is out of the question. (By) next week, I don't doubt it. That's a modest goal."

• Center Sidney Crosby, still out indefinitely with a concussion, said he is "feeling better." However, his post-concussion symptoms, notably random headaches, have not subsided. He has not played since Jan. 5, missing 21 straight games. He missed a career-high 23 straight games in 2008 because of a high right ankle sprain.

• The Penguins are interested in acquiring another forward, and Senators right wing Alex Kovalev is on their radar. However, team officials are not optimistic of making any deals until the weekend - and more likely at the deadline at 3 p.m. Monday - because so few players are believed available after all the trades the past two weeks and most teams remain close to a playoff spot.

• Numbers worn by recent trade acquisitions: left wing James Neal (18) and defenseman Matt Niskanen (2). Winger Chris Conner offered No. 18 to Neal and is now wearing No. 16.

• Left wing Chris Kunitz (lower body) and defenseman Paul Martin (undisclosed) donned full equipment during an on-ice training session before the Penguins' morning practice. Also participating were wingers Arron Asham (concussion) and Mike Comrie (hip); both players wore track suits and engaged in limited activity. Kunitz and Martin are likely to play this weekend.

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