Vladimir Tarasenko fully recovered from shoulder surgery

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Vladimir Tarasenko was close to returning to action prior to the NHL Pause and is ready to play if the 2019-20 season resumes.

The Russian winger required surgery on his left shoulder after sustaining an injury in a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings in late October. No. 91 had three goals and seven assists in the 10 games he played this season.

“He was ready to go,” Blues coach Craig Berube told NBC’s Liam McHugh. “Before we got shut down, he was probably going to be back that week. He did a great job of rehab and taking care of himself. I was really impressed with what he did.”

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The Blues currently sit atop the Central Division and Western Conference with a slim two-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche.

“These guys are great athletes. I would say a good week of skating and conditioning work. I think they would probably be in good enough shape to get going again,” Berube said when asked how long it would take his team to get ready after the pause. “It’s probably not enough time but we will be able to do it.”

“We all try to keep in contact,” Berube added. “Our strength coach will send them workouts and things they could do at home. … It’s all about staying healthy and staying in the best shape that you can.”

The Blues hope they will get the opportunity to defend their title and if that comes to fruition, Tarasenko will be in the lineup.

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Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.