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Tarasenko will return to Blues lineup if season resumes

Forward has been sidelined since shoulder injury sustained Oct. 24

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Vladimir Tarasenko is ready to get back into the St. Louis Blues lineup if the NHL season resumes.

The forward, speaking Wednesday on the full-team videoconference arranged by the NHL, said he's looking forward to playing for the first time since Oct. 24, when he sustained a shoulder injury that required surgery five days later.

Tarasenko was skating and traveling with the Blues prior to the NHL season being paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. There is no timetable for when the season might resume.

"It's been pretty hard year not playing all year, but I was really excited to see what this team could do this season, and we played really well, played great hockey," Tarasenko said. "I was lucky enough to travel a couple road trips before this all started to feel like a part of the team again more. Just looking [forward to] joining the guys on the ice, practice normally and hopefully play some hockey. It's been a long year, but hockey will start someday and we're just waiting for the day."

Blues coach Craig Berube told NBC Sports on Monday that Tarasenko likely would have been back the week the NHL season was paused.

"He was ready to go," Berube said.

Tarasenko scored 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 10 games before the injury. He led the Blues in goals for five straight seasons, scoring at least 33 in each. He scored 17 points (11 goals, six assists) in 26 games in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs to help the Blues win the Stanley Cup for the first time.

Video: St. Louis Blues reunion video conference

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