Samuelsson getting close, Demitra's return is anyone's guess

Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun

The status of injured winger Mikael Samuelsson has been upgraded to day to day.

The Vancouver Canucks wish they could say the same thing about Pavol Demitra.

Samuelsson, who suffered a right shoulder injury on March 16, skated for the first time with his teammates on Monday. He won’t play Tuesda against the Phoenix Coyotes, but will accompany the team on its two-game trip to Southern California later this week.

“He is getting better and better so I think we’ll have him go on the trip, he can take the morning skates with us in LA and Anaheim and hopefully in the next little while he will be ready to go,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. “I don’t expect him to play on the road, but hopefully in the next little while here.”

When Demitra plays next is anyone’s guess. Not even Vigneault seems to know when he will rejoin the team after taking his second personal leave in just over a month.

“Wish I could tell you, wish I could fill you in, but I don’t know,” Vigneault said.

The uncertain status of Demitra is clearly a frustration for the Canucks, who were counting on the 35-year-old to pick up where he left off at the Winter Olympics. He was the leading scorer in the Olympic tournament and helped Slovakia advance to the bronze medal game against Finland.

In the 11 games he played after the Olympics, Demitra managed just one goal, but he did chip in seven assists during that span.

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