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BLOG: Hischier "A Lot Closer To Playing"

Devils captain Nico Hischier continues to skate and is close to returning to practice

by Sam Kasan @SamiKasan /

Devils captain Nico Hischier skated on his own prior to the club's Tuesday morning skate. The centerman been skating for the past week as he progresses from a March 15 surgical procedure to repair a frontal sinus fracture. 

"He's getting closer," Devils head coach Lindy Ruff said. "My understanding is he'll be evaluated by doctors (Tuesday) and we'll see what the next step is."

Hischier suffered the injury Feb. 27 against Washington when an errant shot struck him in the visor. The 22-year-old was also placed in concussion protocol and added to the Injured Reserve list on March 4. 

Hischier was given a roughly three-week recovery timetable post-surgery. Tuesday represents the third-week mark. Though he isn't ready to return just yet, Hischier is getting closer. 

"A lot closer to playing," Ruff said. "He skated; conditioning has come along. He feels great. I talked to him this morning. He feels excited about getting close to coming back. The fact that he's been on the ice now for at least a week, the next step is getting back into game practice." 

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