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Schwartz Improving, Moves Closer to Return

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS - Jaden Schwartz is making progress in his return from a fractured ankle, and that progress was especially evident in Wednesday’s team practice at Scottrade Center.

“He looked really competitive today,” Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after practice. “He looked like he was up to speed with a lot of things. I don’t know what he’s feeling physically (because) I haven’t talked to him yet, but today it looked like some quickness was back in his game, that there was less thinking and more read and react.

“That’s a real good sign from where he was three days ago.”

Schwartz has been traveling with the team since January 19 and spent the first half of the All-Star break working towards his return. On Wednesday, Hitchcock included him in even strength, 3-on-3 and penalty-killing situations and was pleased with the results.

Although he has been ruled out for Thursday's game vs. San Jose, Hitchcock was unable to pinpoint a date for his return right now. But, he does return to the lineup, he intends to play him on a line with Paul Stastny and Vladimir Tarasenko.

“That’s where he fits right there,” Hitchcock said. “Boom.”

In seven games this season, Schwartz has posted four assists and a plus-4 rating.

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