Blues place Lehtera on IR - KMOV.com

Blues place Lehtera on IR

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St. Louis Blues' Jori Lehtera (12), of Finland, skates against the Florida Panthers during an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce) St. Louis Blues' Jori Lehtera (12), of Finland, skates against the Florida Panthers during an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (HockeySTL) -

As the Blues prepare to get one forward back from injury, it appears another will be sidelined for a while. The team announced Wednesday that center Jori Lehtera has been placed on injured reserve after sustaining an upper-body injury in the Blues 3-2 win over the Rangers Saturday.

Lehtera was ruled out prior to Tuesday’s overtime loss in Vancouver, and did not make the trip with the team. Coach Ken Hitchcock initially left the door open for Lehtera to return later in the week, but that won’t happen after Wednesday’s news.

The move clears a roster spot, allowing the Blues to welcome back forward Jaden Schwartz as early as Thursday in Edmonton. Schwartz has been out of action since the end of September with a left elbow injury.

Hitchcock will likely continue his habit of lineup-tinkering with Lehtera unavailable, as the Finland native is one of the few true centermen on the Blues roster. Lehtera is in his third season with the Blues, and has scored 23 goals to 55 assists for his career. 

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