HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- After an arduous practice Friday when the St. Louis Blues wanted to put Kevin Shattenkirk through one final test, the defenseman made it unanimous along with doctors, training staff and coaches.
"I'm ready to go," Shattenkirk said regarding his return to the lineup.
Shattenkirk will return when the Blues host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-MW).
Shattenkirk, who has 40 points in 49 games, has been out of the lineup since sustaining an abdominal injury Feb. 1 at the Washington Capitals that required surgery. Shattenkirk has missed 25 games, and the Blues (46-21-7) are 14-8-3 without him.
After using the past three days to ramp up the intensity of his off-ice and on-ice workouts, getting knocked around in a full-scale practice by teammates was the final hurdle.
"It's kind of that time now that really the only way to get back into game shape is to start playing games," Shattenkirk said. "I felt good out there. It was nice to just be back with the team and get the speed of the game back a little bit. … I'm excited about it.
"I've done what I've had to do rehab-wise. It's time to just get back into it. It may not be pretty to start, but you really have to get those experiences back in and get that mindset of playing games to really get back up to speed."