ST. LOUIS - In the offseason, Blues forward Patrik Berglund dislocated his left shoulder while training in Sweden.
The injury required surgery, which was performed by Dr. Rick Wright, Dr. Matthew Matava and Dr. Matthew Smith at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Orthopedic Center in June, and would mean Berglund would be sidelined until December.
It was the second significant shoulder injury for Berglund, who also missed the first three months of the 2015-16 season after having surgery on his other shoulder.
"It was pretty devastating," Berglund told stlouisblues.com about this year's injury. "I figured right when it happened, I knew how it felt, I knew I'd have to go through the same thing again on my other shoulder. It was really frustrating at times. After a few weeks, you get over it and put in your mindset that you have to work really hard to get back as soon as you can and get healthy. These past couple of months, I've been working really hard."
Now that December is fast approaching, so is Berglund's return.
In fact, the 6-foot-4 center will make his season debut on Wednesday when the Blues host the Anaheim Ducks at Scottrade Center (8 p.m., FSMW, FSGO, KMOX).
Video: Berglund set to return
"Obviously getting him back is going to be really valuable to us," said Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo. "His presence in the middle of the ice, face-offs, his ability to distribute the puck and carry it through the neutral zone with speed… his ability to get in the offensive zone, control pucks, bring momentum to your team, he's one of those wear-them-down type of players that are so valuable as the year moves on."
Berglund played in all 82 games during the 2016-17 season, scoring a career-high 23 goals. Over the course of his career, the 29-year-old has played in 637 regular-season games, scoring 151 goals and 145 assists (296 points).
To make room to activate Berglund from injured reserve, the Blues have placed defenseman Nate Prosser on waivers.
Despite long-term injuries to several key players, the Blues have managed to record a 17-6-1 record (35 points) through the season's first 24 games, which is good for the best record in the League. Berglund (shoulder), Robby Fabbri (knee), Zach Sanford (shoulder) and Jay Bouwmeester (ankle) have all missed significant time with injuries.
Berglund said he's excited to be joining a team that has found success early in the season.
"It's been absolutely amazing to watch them play and watch them compete," Berglund said. "You can't come off with a better start than this. We're in a perfect spot right now."
"(He) is such a big part of our team and had such a good year for us (last year)," added Yeo. "He's a guy that is a lot of fun to coach. He brings a real good energy to our group on a day-to-day basis. More importantly, he's a real important piece… We felt good about our depth, but we knew that we were going to feel the loss of him.
"Guys have stepped up, guys have done a great job. But now all of a sudden, you've got the opportunity to add a player like that into the group, it's real exciting for us."