The Chicago Blackhawks are dealing with a handful of injured players at the moment. On Wednesday morning, interim head coach Derek King provided updates on Kevin Lankinen, Tyler Johnson, Riley Stillman, and Jujhar Khaira.
Lankinen has been dealing with a right hand injury that has caused him to miss the Blackhawks’ last eight games. The team placed him on injured reserve on Jan. 23.
King said the Finnish netminder will begin taking shots in practice next week and could be ready for game action next weekend.
In the meantime, the Blackhawks will start Arvid Soderblom on Thursday against Columbus and Marc-Andre Fleury will get the net Friday against Dallas and Sunday against Florida.
Johnson played in just eight games at the beginning of the season before suffering a neck injury. He underwent artificial disc replacement surgery on Dec. 3, 2021 and has been working his way back ever since.
He has been participating in practice as of late, most recently rotating in as the third line center during this morning’s session. King said Johnson could return in late February or early March. This is a positive development as his original recovery timetable was three months following the surgery.
Stillman has missed the Blackhawks’ last nine games due to a shoulder injury. The team placed him on injured reserve on Jan. 22.
King said Stillman began skating last week but was still experiencing shoulder discomfort, causing the Blackhawks to pull him off the ice. Despite that hiccup, the team still expects him to return at the end of February.
Khaira has been dealing with back issues that forced him to injured reserve on Jan. 22 (retroactive to Jan. 17). He does not have a return timetable and will require more tests.
“We’re not sure what’s going on there exactly,” King said. The Hawks’ interim head coach also added that he doesn’t know if Khaira undergoing surgery is a possibility.
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