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Toews “getting very, very close” to return

Calgary Flames v Chicago Blackhawks

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 02: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks controls the puck against the Calgary Flames at the United Center on March 2, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Flames 6-4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is “getting very, very close” to returning from an extended concussion-related absence.

Toews skated for the 10th straight day this morning, after which he spoke to reporters to provide a status update.

“(I’m) getting very, very close,” said Toews, as per “I think getting to this point and not playing is probably the toughest thing to do, but at the same time it’s smart. I definitely need a few more days to kind of see how it goes through this weekend and we’ll see where we’re at next week, basically. Right now, I’m feeling great. I’ve just got to get those legs going and try to get myself back to being as close to game shape as I can.”

Toews has yet to be cleared for contact, but barring a setback (which he’s already experienced once during his recovery), clearance should be given soon.

If Toews does return before the playoffs, it won’t happen until at least next Thursday in Minnesota. And if not then, look to the season finale Apr. 7 in Detroit.