Kruger back after missing 41 games, Crawford still not ready

Associated Press

The slumping Blackhawks will get a boost on Saturday night, as Marcus Kruger will return to the lineup. Kruger hasn’t played since undergoing wrist surgery on Dec. 18. He missed a total of 41 games.

The ‘Hawks medical staff initially said that he’d be out for four months, but he’s been activated off injured reserve three weeks ahead of schedule.

“It was fun being out there today in practice,” Kruger said before he officially was activated, per the Chicago Tribune. “I have to be able to play my game. Obviously I haven’t been in game situations yet, but if I play I’m going to expect to do everything I was doing before.”

Chicago can certainly use the help. They’re 1-4-2 in their last seven contests and they’ve dropped four straight home games for the first time since 2010.

The news wasn’t as good for goaltender Corey Crawford. The 31-year-old is expected to miss the Blackhawks’ upcoming four-game road trip. That means the earliest he’ll return is Apr. 3. Scott Darling and Michael Leighton will continue to be Chicago’s two options in goal until he returns.

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