Malkin ‘close’ to rejoining Pens practice, but no timetable for return

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Evgeni Malkin has missed Pittsburgh’s last six games, and he’s going to miss at least a couple more.

On Wednesday, Malkin was not out with his teammates for practice due to a lingering lower-body injury. There was, however, some positive news on his rehab — as head coach Mike Sullivan reported that Malkin has skated on his own for the last two days.

“It went well, so the next step is for him to join the team,” Sullivan explained, per the Pens’ Twitter. “He’s close.”

The Penguins have a pair of road games — Thursday versus Detroit, Saturday versus Tampa Bay — before heading out on a mini two-game road trip through Buffalo (on Sunday) and Boston (next Wednesday).

That Bruins game could be one to keep an eye on. It would give Malkin another week to continue skating and get some practices in, though the club could very well hold him out until the following Saturday (Feb. 27), when the Pens host the Jets at Consol.

On the year, Malkin has 49 points in 49 games and was producing exceptionally well prior to getting hurt, with 15 points in his last 13 games.