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Lehtera activated from injured reserve

by St. Louis Blues / Press Release

ST. LOUIS - Jori Lehtera will return to the lineup tonight when the Blues host the Detroit Red Wings at Scottrade Center at 7 p.m.

Lehtera missed four games with an upper-body injury he sustained in a 3-2 win against the New York Rangers on Oct. 15. Lehtera was hit into the glass by Jimmy Vesey and didn't travel with the club last week on their three-game road trip through Western Canada.

Lehtera did participate in a full practice with the team on Wednesday.

"It was tough (being out)," Lehtera said after an optional practice on Thursday. "One week felt like one month, but I'm happy I'm back and excited."

Lehtera will be on the left wing to start Thursday's game against the Red Wings, joining Jaden Schwartz in the middle and Vladimir Tarasenko on the right. Lehtera played on the wing for Team Finland at the World Cup of Hockey last month, while Schwartz played center for the Blues in Lehtera's absence.

Video: Lehtera on returning from injury

"We've got options," Schwartz said. "I felt pretty comfortable playing center and kind of grew up playing center and got away from it a little bit. It's not totally new for me, just a couple of adjustments.

"Jori's a great player. He complements his linemates well and does a lot of little things out there," Schwartz added. "He's very smart and creates offense, and we need that right now. We obviously missed him and we're pumped to have him back. The three of us playing together, we're pretty familiar with each other and we're looking forward to it obviously."

Lehtera is currently in his third season with the Blues. The 28-year-old native of Helsinki, Finland has accumulated 78 points (23 goals and 55 assists) in 157 career regular season games.

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