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Leafs Clarkson looking to hit the reset button (again)

David Clarkson, Dalton Prout

Dalton Prout #47 of the Columbus Blue Jackets and David Clarkson #71 of the Toronto Maple Leafs chase after a loose puck during the first period on October 25, 2013 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (October 24, 2013 - Source: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images North America)

Suspensions and injuries have sidelined Toronto’s David Clarkson, who is once again “resetting” as the Leafs prepare for their final preseason game Friday.

The Leafs forward could return to action tonight when the Leafs host the Detroit Red Wings.

Clarkson appeared in 60 games last season scoring five goals and 11 points.

The 30-year-old had been limited to just one preseason game due to a lower body injury.

Last Friday Clarkson left the Leafs game in Buffalo after a fight with Cody McCormick.

“I was hitting that reset button getting ready and I’m still getting ready,” Clarkson told reporters this week. “I’m getting ready to start, but those are those fluky things.”

Clarkson suffered a fractured orbital bone under his right eye after taking a big left hook from McCormick during the third period of a 6-4 win.

“We were on a power play, I was trying to get off, I know what he’s trying to do as far as his team and stuff,” Clarkson said of the situation. “We’ve fought before. It’s just one of those lucky things where it catches you in the right spot I guess or wrong spot and I’ve got a couple fractures.”

He’s since missed another two games with the injury, but returned to Leafs practice Thursday sporting a full cage.

Clarkson said that despite his most recent injury, he won’t be changing the way he plays. Once the injury heals, he won’t shy away from dropping the gloves if necessary.

“I’m not going to change the way I play cause of it, it’s just one of those things that happen,” he said. “I’m not going to change my game because of something like that, it was the first time it’s happened to me.”

I’d say lets hope Clarkson appears in 80-plus games this season, but given the way things have gone in the preseason alone, that’s hard to picture. Perhaps an increase in production will help ease the pain of knowing Clarkson is heading into just Year 2 of his seven-year, $37 million contract.

Follow @dcmahiban