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February 15, 2013, 12:31 AM

Carl Gunnarsson’s road to recovery did not take him down here to Tobacco Road, according to The Toronto Sun.

While the Leafs were facing off against the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena on Thursday night, the young defenceman was left behind in Toronto in order to undergo physical therapy.

According to coach Randy Carlyle, Gunnarsson remained in Ontario to work with an ART (Active Release Techniques) specialist, In essence, Gunnarsson is getting a type of advanced massage therapy that helps deal with his ailing hip.

“He’s had it done before and it seemed to help,” Carlyle said. “We’ll have to see how it works out.”

The team has not ruled out a return by Gunnarsson by Saturday when the Leafs meet the Ottawa Senators at the ACC but that could be wishful thinking. Gunnarsson has said in the past that the injury has been like a rollercoaster ride because of its ups and downs — one day good, the next not so much.

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