Blackhawks coach happy with Kane’s progress, hoping for early return

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The Chicago Blackhawks have been without Patrick Kane for more than a month, but the hope is for the skilled forward to possibly make an early return to the lineup.

On Feb. 24, Kane suffered a fractured clavicle after being shoved awkwardly from behind into the boards. The timetable for his return was 12 weeks following surgery.

NHL.com reported that Kane is skating on his own, but if he was unavailable for the 12 weeks, he’d be out until the middle of May and the Western Conference Final.

“I’ve always hoped that [he could return sooner],” said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, as per ESPN Chicago. “We’ll see.

“I think it’s still the same timetable, but how well he’s skating and how well he’s doing, I think he feels real good about where he’s at.

“It’s just a matter of when he gets that green light is probably going to be the hurdle. But we like his approach, and he’s doing a lot of things out there that he wants to do or is able to do. That’s a good sign.”

The Blackhawks are third in the Central Division with 94 points, but were only three points up on the Minnesota Wild prior to puck drop on Friday’s NHL schedule, which features the Wild hosting the Calgary Flames.

At the time of his injury, Kane had 27 goals and 64 points in 61 games.