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Tarasenko 'making a lot of progress' from shoulder injury for Blues

Coach says no timetable for return of forward, who has been out since October

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Vladimir Tarasenko is making progress from a left-shoulder injury, but there is no time frame for the forward's return to the lineup for the St. Louis Blues.

"From a conditioning standpoint, skating, he can play, but his shoulder has to be 100 percent, and he's going to get a test done this week, so we'll know a little more, but he's looking good," Blues coach Craig Berube said prior to their 4-2 loss at the New Jersey Devils on Friday. "I can't really give you a timetable, but he's making a lot of progress."

Tarasenko, who has skated in separate sessions with assistant coaches and scratched players but hasn't been cleared to practice at full speed, has been on long-term injured reserve since Oct. 30, one day after he had surgery. He was expected to be out five months, or until the end of March.

Tarasenko has missed 58 games since he was injured in a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 24 after getting tangled with Kings defenseman Sean Walker on a partial breakaway.

"The coaches will go in the corner with him and things like that," Berube said. "An extra guy will push him around a bit. He's had some contact the last couple practices. That's all we can do now until he gets his test done. He can't do too much. Still waiting."

Tarasenko has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 10 games. His 33 goals led the Blues in 2018-19, and he scored 11 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to help St. Louis win the Stanley Cup for the first time in its 51-season history.

The Blues (40-18-10) had won eight straight games before losing to the Devils and are in first place in the Central Division, two points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche.

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