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Blue Jackets' Johansen practices, eyes Friday return @NHLdotcom

Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen practiced Thursday and said he wants to play Friday against the Washington Capitals.

"I'm back to 100 percent," Johansen told the Blue Jackets website. "It's good to be back out there with the guys. (The recovery) was just taking care of your body: all the little things, nutrients, fluids, and do everything you can to get yourself ready to play."

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said Johansen is expected to be in the lineup. Forward Brandon Saad will miss the game because of illness the Columbus Dispatch reported to be of the stomach flu variety.

Johansen has improved after missing two games because of an undisclosed illness. He had skated on his own in Columbus on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Johansen, who has one goal and six points in eight games this season, left the Blue Jackets last weekend after complaining of fatigue. He had been hospitalized in Vancouver during the summer after complaining of an accelerated heart rate, but tests then showed no abnormalities with his heart.

"Like any person, you get all these thoughts in your head, stupid ideas (about what's wrong) and you never really know," Johansen said. "I'm just thankful for the staff we have here, and getting to the bottom of it so I can be 100 percent today. Everyone that's helped me out has been great. It was awesome walking back in here today with the guys and getting ready to go."

Johansen remained in Columbus for tests this week. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen did not disclose any details except to say that this illness does not involve his heart.

"I can't get into that stuff," Kekalainen said. "He wasn't feeling well. It didn't have anything to do with his heart. And now he's doing better. That's all I know to tell you."

Johansen's 71 points last season were second on the Blue Jackets and an NHL career-best.

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