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Florida puts Gudbranson (orbital bone) on IR


James OBrien

The Panthers put prized young defenseman Erik Gudbranson on injured reserve Friday, just days after he underwent surgery to repair his orbital bone.

Florida has yet to announce a timetable for his return.

Gudbranson, 21, suffered the injury after taking a puck to the face versus Winnipeg last Friday. The orbital bone surgery was handled by Dr. Gregory Albert and a full recovery is expected.

Florida’s first-round pick (third overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Gudbranson was averaging a career-high 18:50 TOI per game prior to getting hurt, notching two goals and seven points in 37 games.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound rearguard led all Panthers in hits, with 84, and was second on the team in blocked shots (59) at the time of his injury.

In related moves, Florida officially activated Tim Thomas off IR and recalled both D Alex Petrovic and F Drew Shore.