(HockeySTL)-- The Blues received some good news regarding one of their injured forwards prior to Tuesday’s game against Washington, as the club announced that Alexander Steen will be making his return to the lineup.
“He’ll play, he’s good to go,” Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said. “This is the player’s call and the trainer’s call. They leaned over the boards and said ‘I’m good to go’.”
Steen has missed the Blues’ last three games with an undisclosed upper-body injury. The club and Steen were very vague when it came to answering questions about Steen’s ailment earlier this week. Earlier in the season, Steen missed 11 games with a concussion, but Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that this injury was not head-related.
Whatever has been bothering Steen for the past week has receded enough for the forward to return to the ice. He is expected to take back his spot on the Blues’ top line.
Steen has been skating with the team for the past two days, returning to practice ice on Monday for the first time since he was sidelined a week ago. The forward’s last game was last Tuesday against Philadelphia, where he had 21 minutes of ice time and showed no sign of discomfort. He was kept off the ice until Monday.
Steen is the Blues' leading scorer on the season with 33 goals, 60 points in 64 games. The Blues were 1-2 in their last three games without Steen. Hitchcock had no reservations putting him back in the lineup.
“I think it’s my obligation (to put him in) considering he’s had an unbelievable year and he’s been our best player most nights.”
The Blues will remain without forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who is sidelined with a hand injury. He continues to skate with the team, but is not yet able to shoot a puck. The team is hoping he is back before the end of the opening round of playoff play.