‘Hawks lose Versteeg (lower body) for three weeks

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Joel Quenneville’s initial diagnosis for the injury Kris Versteeg suffered during Tuesday’s practice?

It wasn’t very good.”

Turns out Q was right.

On Wednesday, the ‘Hawks announced that Versteeg would miss the next three weeks with a lower-body ailment — one that wouldn’t require surgery, but could land the 28-year-old on long-term injured reserve (Chicago was non-committal about where Versteeg would end up.)

The injury is a tough blow for Versteeg, who is looking to rebound from a rough 2013-14 campaign. Despite feeling energized by a mid-season return to Chicago, Versteeg could only manage to put up 12 goals and 36 points in 81 games and was a healthy scratch on a couple of occasions during the ‘Hawks run to the Western Conference Final.

“I was brutal last year in the end stretch,” said Versteeg, per CSN Chicago. “I was actually proud of myself coming back from what I did and the time frame in doing what I did.

“But you always want to be a bigger contributor and hopefully that’s this season.”

Prior to getting hurt, Versteeg was skating on Chicago’s third line with Marcus Kruger and Bryan Bickell. Ben Smith will be the replacement winger, Quenneville said.

Update: For clarity’s sake in the comments section, Versteeg got hurt skating on a third line with Kruger and Bickell because Brad Richards was out Tuesday (birth of his child.)