The Chicago Blackhawks are dealing with a handful of injuries, but two players may be back in the mix in the near future. Interim head coach Derek King said forward Tyler Johnson is "probably" a month away from returning and defenseman Riley Stillman will be back in 2-3 weeks.
Tyler Johnson suffered a neck injury in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 29. The forward underwent artificial disk replacement surgery on Dec. 3 and the Blackhawks announced he would be out three months. Today's update appears to be in line with Johnson's initial timeline.
Johnson has been working his way back into hockey activities over the past few weeks. He joined Blackhawks practice for some non-contact work on Dec. 28, just three weeks after the surgery. On Jan. 21, King said Johnson was close to being cleared for "a little" contact.
Before going on the shelf, Johnson recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in just eight games for his new team. A longtime member of the Lightning, Johnson came to the Blackhawks in exchange for Brent Seabrook's contract over the summer.
Riley Stillman has missed the Blackhawks' last three games due to a shoulder injury. The team placed him on injured reserve on Jan. 22. Derek King said Stillman's shoulder ailment is something that's been lingering, but he likely aggravated it in a fight against Minnesota's Brandon Duhaime on Jan. 21.
On the season, Stillman has 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in 28 games. Prior to landing on injured reserve, Stillman was playing some of his best hockey while fellow Hawks' defensemen were sidelined in COVID Protocol.