Rangers captain McDonagh (separated shoulder) returns to practice

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A welcome sight at Rangers practice today as captain Ryan McDonagh practiced with teammates for the first time since suffering a separated shoulder at the beginning of the month.

McDonagh, the club’s No. 1 defenseman, has missed the last 10 games with the ailment, during which the Blueshirts have gone 4-3-3 (but have won two straight via shutout: 2-0 over Philly on the 19th and 5-0 over Montreal on Sunday).

The original diagnosis had McDonagh sidelined for 3-4 weeks with the injury, so it’s unlikely he’ll be ready for any of this week’s action: New York plays in Tampa Bay tomorrow night, then has a home-and-home, back-to-back set against the Flyers on Friday (1 p.m. ET, NBC) and Saturday.

McDonagh was off to a bit of a slow start prior to getting hurt — no goals and just three points in 10 games — but was averaging a team-high 23:33 per game in his first year wearing the “C” on Broadway.