(HockeyStL) - After missing the last two games with an upper-body injury, Blues captain David Backes will return to the team’s lineup for Game 5.
The forward sustained his injury in Game 2 after receiving an illegal hit from Brent Seabrook. Backes’ status over the past few days was never clear, but the forward recovered enough since Saturday to suit up.
It is not known if Backes was battling severe concussion symptoms after being knocked out by Seabrook’s hit last Saturday. However, it is believed that the forward was ailing from a foot injury, which he sustained late in the regular-season, as well as some upper-body discomfort.
The forward was not on the ice for Friday’s morning skate, which would usually indicate that he would not play. But Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock would not rule him out for the game.
"Like I said in Chicago, there's lots of rinks in St. Louis, too, so you never know," Hitchcock said, using the same line he used two days ago in Chicago when discussing Backes’ status. "He might just jump on the ice and be there skating in the warm-up and then you can all press send on your tweets and away you go."
Backes was reportedly close to playing in Wednesday’s Game 4, but the forward was not healthy enough to return at that point. He has missed the last two games with the undisclosed injury.
Derek Roy took Backes’ spot during the morning line rushes on Friday, centering the top line. He will be a healthy scratch with Backes’ return.
With Backes back, the Blues are close to full health, missing only Brenden Morrow, who has been ruled out for the rest of the first-round series.
According to pregame line rushes, Backes will be centering Jaden Schwartz and T.J. Oshie. The rest of the lineup is listed below.