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Training Camp

Duncan Keith on ice at Blackhawks camp

Defenseman skating again after knee injury kept him out of World Cup

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Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith took part in a short practice to open training camp Friday.

Keith withdrew from Team Canada prior to the start of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 because of an injury to his right knee.

"It's just kind of been something that's been basically going on for a while now," Keith told the Blackhawks website. "I tried to use some time here this summer to rest it and do some different things. But once I started skating, it didn't react very well, so I had to do a few different things to try and get it ready.

"It was disappointing I wasn't ready to go for the World Cup. ... But maybe I wouldn't be where I am right now with it if I didn't take the time to let it rest and not start skating again until a couple of weeks ago."

Video: Duncan Keith speaks with media after taking the ice

Keith had surgery in October to repair his meniscus and played 67 games last season. He missed six games in the three seasons prior to that, and had missed 20 games over 10 prior seasons with the Blackhawks.

"I don't want to look too far ahead, but at the same time I like the progression," Keith said. "… Today was good to get back out there in the swing of things even though it was a short practice."

Assistant coach Mike Kitchen said he believed Keith would be able to play the season opener on Oct. 12 against the St. Louis Blues at United Center.

"There's no concern to be honest with you," Keith said. "It's just like any other type of thing you go through where you do the rehab and you get it ready, and when you're ready to play you're playing and there's no excuses by then.

"I'm confident, I feel strong out there. I feel like this offseason has given me a lot of time to basically recover from six, seven, eight seasons prior to that. I feel great mentally, and strength-wise I feel good. ... Since I haven't skated in a long time and getting back on the ice here in September, I think that's all it is, is just kind of shaking some of that rust off and making sure my knee is getting better and better."

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