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Panthers activate captain Ed Jovanovski, slot him for season debut on Saturday night

SUNRISE, Fla. - The Florida Panthers have activated defenceman and captain Ed Jovanovski from injured reserve and say he'll make his season debut Saturday against Nashville.

Jovanovski had hip surgery in April. Injuries kept him from 83 of Florida's last 89 games, dating to the start of last season. Jovanovski said the hip pain was so bad that lacing his own skates proved impossible.

Panthers general manager Dale Tallon says Jovanovski "worked extremely hard during his extensive rehabilitation process and should be commended for his diligent efforts both on and off the ice."

The 36-year-old Jovanovski has appeared in 1,091 games with Florida, Vancouver and Phoenix. He's scored 136 goals and added 359 assists in his career.

Florida entered Friday 10 points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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