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Duncan Keith could miss opener for Blackhawks

Report: Defenseman may not be ready despite skipping World Cup to rehab knee

NHL.com @NHL

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith could miss the season opener on Oct 12 as he continues to rehab his injured right knee, general manager Stan Bowman said Thursday.

"I try not to put any expectations on it," Bowman told the Chicago Sun-Times. "He'll be ready when he's ready. It's nothing to be alarmed about. Right now, we're not trying to put time frames on it. We'll have a better feel once we get into exhibition games, and if he's ready to play, he'll play. … I don't have a feel for it right now."

Keith, 33, was named to Team Canada for the World Cup of Hockey 2016 but pulled out Aug. 24 to give him more time to rehabilitate his knee. He had surgery Oct. 20 to repair a torn meniscus and missed 10 games last season.

Video: CHI@STL, Gm1: Keith scores with seconds left in 2nd

The Blackhawks play their first preseason game Sept. 28 against the Pittsburgh Penguins and open the regular season on Oct. 12 at home against the St. Louis Blues.

"Your first course of action is always to just see how it reacts, and you won't know that until you go through time," Bowman said. "I think [Duncan] just didn't feel where he hoped he would feel. And when he had to make the call, he doesn't want to leave [Team] Canada high and dry [so he gave] them enough time to prepare.

"He's no different than a lot of our guys that have things that they played through all year long. Nine times out of 10, when they rest up, they feel better by training camp. [Duncan] is one of those guys where it just wasn't up to where he hoped it would be."

A two-time Norris Trophy winner, Keith had nine goals and 34 assists in 67 games last season, then scored three goals and had two assists in six Stanley Cup Playoff games. He's been a part of Chicago's Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2015.

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