Every day Jonathan Toews pushes himself a little more on the ice. And every day, Toews feels hes getting that much closer to returning.
Toews skatedpracticed for the seventh consecutive day on Monday, as the Blackhawks captain continues to feel his concussion symptoms diminish. Still, Toews said he has a bit to go.
As you can tell Im still a ways off from game shape, he said. Obviously theres always going to be some adjustments in that first game I play, whenever that may be. Ill try to get as close as I can to where theres not much adjustment.
But the continued progress in skates and practices is encouraging.
Every day Im pushing myself a little bit harder. The harder I do go the better I feel. It gives me confidence knowing theres not much I can do to make it worse right now. Every day seems to be a step forward, which is a good thing.
Thats also a good thing for the Blackhawks, who are starting to see health come back to their lineup Steve Montador could return Tuesday and Marcus Kruger will play against the New Jersey Devils.
In watching and talking to (Toews), theres progress there, coach Joel Quenneville said. He feels better about where hes going, he adds more each day, he feels stronger and his attitudes been good. Well have a better idea (how close he is) when hes inserted into some contact.
Its been tough for Toews to be patient through this, to wait to get back into the lineup. But he feels hes close to taking full contact, and then playing wont be far behind.
You want to get back in there and help them out as much as you can and when you start to feel like youre getting over the hump, its tough to keep that emotion under control, Toews said. (But) Im feeling pretty close to (contact). The last few days Ive been feeling good.