EDMONTON - The Blues will have Jaden Schwartz in the lineup tonight when they meet the Edmonton Oilers at 8 p.m. at Rogers Place (FSMW, KMOX).
Schwartz sustained a left elbow injury in practice on Sept. 30 and was originally expected to miss four weeks, but he practiced fully with the team on Monday and Wednesday - more than a week ahead of schedule.
"It feels good, so the plan is for me to play tonight," Schwartz said. "I got a couple practices in and I feel good, and we were looking at this date all along. No setbacks, so I'm obviously really, really excited to join the group again."
"He's an important player," Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after Monday's practice. "Even at 80 percent last year he was a good player. Close to 100 percent, he's going to be a real help for us. He's exactly what we need. We saw it at practice today, his ability on the rush and his tempo, his compete level is very impressive. When he's back and he's ready to go, it's going to be a big help."
Schwartz had eight goals and 14 assists in 33 regular season games last season, but missed 49 games with an ankle injury sustained in an early-season practice. In last year's playoffs, he was one of the Blues' most consistent performers, finishing third on the club with 14 points (four goals, 10 assists).
The Blues will also get forward Kyle Brodziak back in the lineup after he missed Tuesday's game in Vancouver with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson (upper-body) could return Saturday in Calgary, while Jori Lehtera (upper-body) has been placed on injured reserve.