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Blue Jackets' Murray close to returning

by Dan Rosen

Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards provided some injury updates during a conversation Monday.

Richards said defenseman Ryan Murray isn't expected to play Tuesday against the Dallas Stars, but he's hoping to have Murray back in the lineup soon. Murray hasn't played this season because of a knee injury.

Murray, 21, had 21 points and averaged 19:52 of ice time in 66 games last season.

"Ryan Murray is progressing," Richards said. "He's out skating with us every day. He seems to be doing a little bit more each and every day. There's no initial time frame but we're hoping maybe sometime soon."

Right wing Nathan Horton, who is out with a back injury, is not close to returning.

"Nathan is just kind of going day-to-day," Richards said. "He has good days and days that aren't as good as the good days."

Richards also said nothing has changed in the recovery time for forwards Boone Jenner (hand) and Brandon Dubinsky (abdominal surgery). They are not likely to return before November.

"They're still probably three, four, five weeks away," Richards said.

The Blue Jackets are 2-0 despite missing what could be a first or second forward line and a top-pair defenseman.

"You take [Murray] out of your defensive group and you take those other three guys out," Richards said, "yeah, that's a good chunk of your team."


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