TORONTO (AP) _ Toronto forward Wendel Clark, sidelined since Dec. 31 by a groin injury, is trying to put off possible season-ending surgery.

``I thought I would be back,'' said Clark, who was not on the ice Tuesday as the Maple Leafs resumed practice following an eight-day break for the Olympics. ``But I just hurt a lot worse than we thought.''

Clark is going to give it more time to heal before opting for surgery, which could sideline him for the rest of the season.

``If we can prolong it a little bit and let it heal on its own, maybe I could come back for the end of the season,'' Clark said.

Clark, 31, has nine goals and seven assists in 42 games this season.