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BLOG: Lehner Healthy Following Knee Injury

Netminder missed two games during absence, ready to dress against Nashville

by Chris Kuc @ChrisKuc /

When it comes to injuries, there hasn't been a whole lot of good news for the Blackhawks this season.

That seemingly changed a bit Wednesday when goaltender Robin Lehner participated in the Blackhawks' full practice at the United Center and afterward said his right knee "is good."

Considering the injury appeared to be more serious when Lehner was left writhing in pain after the Canucks' Tanner Pearson fell on the veteran netminder during last Thursday night's game in Vancouver, the Blackhawks have seemingly dodged the latest injury bullet.

Lehner eventually got up and finished the game that resulted in a 7-5 loss but missed the Blackhawks' next two contests against the Red Wings and Flames, respectively, with Corey Crawford getting the starts.

On Wednesday, Lehner declared himself good to go whenever coach Jeremy Colliton calls his name.

"I'm back to full practice so we'll see when (I) get the opportunity," Lehner said. "I never had like a knee injury, so (it was) just kind of wait and see and see how everything was going to turn out. I'm happy … it wasn't long. (I) thought it was going to be a few weeks at least, but, no, it's good."

Lehner admitted that he was concerned the injury was worse and he would join the Blackhawks' list of walking wounded, including Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol), Drake Caggiula (concussion protocol), Brandon Saad (ankle), Brent Seabrook (hip) and Calvin de Haan (shoulder).

"The reality of it for everyone (is) you don't want to be injured," Lehner said. "This is our job and our livelihood (and) you want to be out there and help the team. But injuries are part of the game, you just have to go through them and do the best with it. I'm happy it wasn't anything worse."

A further indication that Lehner is healthy enough to play is the Blackhawks reassigned Kevin Lankinen, who had been recalled to serve as backup to Crawford, to AHL Rockford later Wednesday. 

The news isn't all good on the injury front as center Dylan Strome, who left Tuesday night's game against the Flames during the second period with a right ankle injury, has been declared out for the Blackhawks' tilt against the Predators on Thursday night at the United Center.

"It's still pretty soon after (the injury)," Colliton said Wednesday. "Obviously, he's not going to play (Thursday night), but we'll know more here as we get a little further away."

Colliton added that Saad "is getting better" during his recovery and that Caggiula is "close to coming back."

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