Game 1 ready? Q says Kane cleared for contact, showing ‘real good progress’

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Two days ahead of their playoff opener, the Blackhawks got more good news on the Patrick Kane front.

“He had real good progress,” head coach Joel Quenneville said of Kane, who’s been out since late February with a broken collarbone. “Got cleared for contact, and handled everything pretty well.”

Kane practiced with Chicago on Monday, the latest step in what’s been a quick recovery from an injury that was supposed to sideline him up to three months. The former Conn Smythe winner broke the collarbone on Feb. 24 against Florida and underwent surgery shortly thereafter but, much like Minnesota’s Jason Zucker did following the same injury, resumed skating far quicker than expected.

(Zucker ended up missing just two months, rather than the original prognosis of three, following his broken collarbone, and has scored three goals in his first three games since returning.)

Should Kane play in Game 1 against Nashville, his return would be even quicker than Zucker’s — seven weeks to Zucker’s eight — but the 26-year-old said he pushed himself to speed up the rehab process.

“I’ve done a lot to try to get myself, whether it’s healed as fast as possible or feeling good as fast as possible, whatever you want to call it,” he explained, per the Chicago Tribune. “I’ve done a lot of different things to try and make that happen.

“I’m pretty happy with the progress so far.”

For what it’s worth, Kane took his usual line rushes alongside Kris Versteeg and Brad Richards on Monday, and practiced on the club’s first power-play unit.