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Friday, January 25, 2013
Henrique nearing return

By Katie Strang

In his first full practice with the team since returning from hand surgery, 22-year-old Adam Henrique was on the ice for the Devils' morning skate Friday.

The 2012 Calder Trophy finalist, who had five goals and eight assists in the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring, has begun taking shots and is working on regaining strength in his injured left hand.

Coach Pete DeBoer said he expects Henrique to be back in approximately seven to 10 days.

"It's great to see him back," DeBoer said. "He's a big part of our team and our lineup and he just allows you, obviously, assuming you stay healthy, by slotting him in it allows you to put guys in better positions for them to have success and for us to have success."

Henrique sustained the injury to his left thumb in November while playing for the team's AHL affiliate in Albany during the lockout. Henrique said he's feeling better and that the doctors have been happy with his progress, but that he still needs more time before he's ready to play in his first game of the season.

"A couple months off, it's not full strength yet," Henrique said. "It's going to take a little bit of time."

Henrique is not expected to accompany the team on its upcoming road trip to Montreal and Boston, but he was excited to be back on the ice with his teammates before Friday's game.

"It's awesome," Henrique said. "It's just a big morale boost for me, just to be around the guys."