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Hossa to miss Thursday's game, expected to return before opener

by Brad Boron / Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday announced that forward Marian Hossa will miss at least the next four preseason games with an upper-body injury.

"He aggravated an injury there," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters in Chicago after his team's morning skate in preparation for a preseason game Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. "We're going to keep him off. I wouldn't expect him in the next four games here in the next five nights. We'll see how he progresses after that."

However, Quenneville said he expects Hossa to be ready for the regular-season opener, Oct. 1 against the Washington Capitals (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

"Whether we're talking seriousness of it or not, we feel he'll be back and he'll be fine," Quenneville said.

Starting Friday the Blackhawks play three games in four days, all on the road, against the Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, and Penguins. They close the preseason at home Sept. 28 against the Capitals.

Hossa did not play in the team's first preseason game, a 2-0 defeat of the Red Wings on Tuesday.

A back injury kept Hossa out of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, as he said a disc was putting pressure on a nerve running down his right leg. He returned for the final three games of the Final, and said that while offseason surgery was possible, he was able to avoid it.

Hossa recently told reporters that his back was feeling better, and Quenneville said he has been pleased with what he's seen from Hossa during training camp.

"He was skating pretty good," Quenneville said. "We liked the way he was moving out there, but that [the injury] is where we're at."

Quenneville also said captain Jonathan Toews will not play Thursday, but could make his preseason debut Friday. Toews has not taken part in any of the team's training-camp scrimmages or preseason games due to a lower-body injury.

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