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Stastny Skates, Hopes to Return Soon

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS - Paul Stastny was wearing a cage to protect his face Tuesday when he joined the team for an optional skate.

Stastny said he will wear the cage until the All-Star break to protect his cheek, which was hit by an errant puck in Friday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.

“It came pretty hard at me. I didn’t see the replay, but it was a pretty good cut,” Stastny said after the morning skate. “I was fortunate it didn’t hit me in the eye or a little lower in the jaw. It hit me in the cheek area, which is a little more stable. I guess that’s the way you have to look at it some times.”

Stastny isn’t ready to return yet, but he’s hopeful he can play Thursday when the Blues host the Carolina Hurricanes. For now, the 30-year-old Blues center said he’s experiencing a little “fogginess” when ramping up his activity, but he made it clear the injury is not concussion-related.

“There are a couple of times where I got the heart rate up and I started to feel a headache and get a little foggy,” Stastny said. “I’m not going to risk anything until my head clears up. If everything goes well, I can practice tomorrow and probably play Thursday. But it’s one of those things where I’m trying to take it day by day.

“The last thing I want to do is not be able to play at full speed, not be able to make decisions like I normally can,” Stastny added. “(I don’t want to) hurt myself or more importantly, hurt the team.”

Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock was a little less optimistic about Stastny returning Thursday, instead labeling Stastny week-to-week.

Through 28 games this season, Stastny has scored three goals and 15 assists (18 points).

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