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Gunnarsson activated from injured reserve

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS - Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson has been activated from injured reserve and will play Thursday when the Blues meet the Washington Capitals.

Gunnarsson, who sustained an upper-body injury in the Nov. 16 game against the Vegas Golden Knights, has missed 20 games.

"It's been feeling good. I'm ready," Gunnarsson said after Wednesday's practice at Enterprise Center. "When (the injury) first happened, I was hoping (the timeline would be a) week and then to bounce back, but we figured out it was a little worse than that. There was no timeline. It's been day-to-day, week-to-week and up-and-down.

"It's tough watching from up top, just not being part of it," Gunnarsson added. "You can't do anything for the guys. Where we're at right now, I just want to be in and help out."

Gunnarsson's return means the Blues' defense is entirely healthy. Blues Head Coach Craig Berube said he's excited to have everyone available, but that some tough decisions will have to be made regarding lineup decisions.

"You've got a lot of guys that are good players that deserve to play and want to play, but it's decisions that we've got to make," Berube said. "They're tough decisions some times."

Gunnarsson's 2017-18 season ended in March after an ACL injury. He had two surgeries in the offseason and played his first game of the 2018-19 season on Nov. 1.

In seven appearances this season, Gunnarsson has a plus-2 rating.

"(Gunnarsson) is a real smart player," Berube said. "He's very reliable defensively, he does a good job, a really good job with his stick breaking up plays and stuff like that. He's a smart, reliable defenseman."

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