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Joffrey Lupul starts in Ducks' return

December 5, 2010 |  6:44 pm

Lupul_200 Ducks winger Joffrey Lupul made his first appearance in an NHL game in more than 51 weeks Sunday, starting in place of the injured Teemu Selanne against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Lupul skated 58 seconds on his first shift and did not touch the puck though he did get in a hard check on Phoenix defenseman Ed Jovanovski.

Doctors cleared Lupul to play this weekend after a long battle back after following two surgeries for a herinated disk and a blood infection. His last appeared in a Duck uniform on Dec. 8, 2009.

Lupul played three games for Syracuse, scoring a goal and picking up two assists. His longest stint was his last one, when he played 22 minutes. But he needed additional medical clearance before being able to play in an NHL game.

Lupul, who is wearing No. 19 instead of the No. 14 sweater he wore last year, received a warm ovation from the Honda Center crowd when he was introduced before the game.

Selanne, who has missed five of the Ducks' last seven games with a groin injury, did not dress for Sunday's game and there is no timetable for his return.

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Joffrey Lupul. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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