Jonathan Toews to return Tuesday
VANCOUVER -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will return to the lineup against the Vancouver Canucks when the teams resume play after the All-Star break on Tuesday while forward Patrick Sharp is questionable for the contest.
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Toews and Sharp are both suffering from left wrist injuries which have kept them out of the lineup. Toews was injured on Jan. 20 when Florida's Erik Gudbranson slashed him as he was trying to take a shot. He finished the game but left the next night against Nashville in the second period and then missed the rematch against the Predators three days later. He also skipped the All-Star Game.
"I'm excited to be back," Toews said Monday evening after practice in Vancouver. "I took the time I needed this past week."
Toews said it was a "tough decision" to skip a game as well as All-Star weekend.
"At that point I didn't think it was beneficial for me or the team to go back in and try and do anything," he said. "It was just going to get worse at that point."
Toews says he's in no pain and his hand is completely healed. Sharp, meanwhile, is still feeling the effects of a slash from Detroit's Jiri Hudler as he scored his 20th goal of the season on Jan. 8. He's missed the last eight games.
"I want to get back as fast as I can," Sharp said after his first practice with the team since the injury. "Whether that's tomorrow (Tuesday) the next game or the third game, who knows. We'll see."
Sharp said he felt good in practice though a "little rusty." He skated on his own throughout the All-Star break to get back into game shape.
"It's nice to feel a puck," he said. "It was nice to take a few hard shots and (I'll) wake up on tomorrow (Tuesday) and see how it goes."
Sharp says there is some stiffness and "minor pain" when doing certain things but is concentrated on the positive -- no surgery.
"I think they looked at it and it wasn't necessary so I think it cuts the healing time in half," Sharp explained. "I got lucky there."
Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.