Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy returned to the ice for practice Tuesday morning after being placed on Long-Term Injured Reserve late last month.
Murphy did not play after the second period of the game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Oct. 22 due to a groin injury and was officially placed on LTIR the following day, missing a minimum of 10 games and 24 days - the latter of which comes to fruition later this week.
The 26-year-old was back on the ice for a full practice for the first time Tuesday morning before the team departed for Las Vegas. Murphy said he felt good and is ready to step back into his role on the team.
Video: Connor Murphy on returning from injury
"It's nice to be out there with guys and getting a feel of it a little more. It's brutal when you're not playing and especially when they are on the road you definitely feel like you want to get back with them."
Murphy had 13 points (5G, 8A) in 52 games last season and was hungry for a strong start this season after dealing with a groin injury in the preseason as well, one that kept him out of the season opener in Prague.
"Any time you get hurt and have to miss any games at all it's hard especially when you want to be able to have a strong start of the year and get a spurt of games and roll for a whole season," Murphy said. "That's in the past and now it's just looking at it as an opportunity to come and have a good way to finish and play the rest of the year."
Murphy explained that although he's been out of action for three weeks, he doesn't feel as though he's fallen behind and is confident in his ability to get re-acclimated with the team's defensive systems.
"I've been watching all of the games and sitting in the meetings so it makes it a little more clear," he said. "You're able to go through that process with the guys so other than just the experience in the games you're able to hear what the chats been around different changes so I don't think that'll be too hard."
Video: CHI@MTL: Murphy snipes top corner to open scoring
Murphy is eligible to return to action in time for Saturday's game in Nashville if he's medically cleared, but for now, the defenseman is just happy to be back on the ice.
"[The trainers and coaches] give me the day-by-day updates and I was allowed to practice today. I had a smile on my face with that one."