Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Schenn day to day instead of long-term

Forward missed past two games with upper-body injury, was some fear 
injury would be long term; Sundqvist more day to day rather than week to week

ST. LOUIS -- Whew.
(St. Louis Blues/Scott Rovak)
The Blues got good news regarding Brayden Schenn (10), who sustained
an upper-body injury Oct. 30 against Chicago. Schenn is day to day.

That was the collective sigh of relief from not only the Blues but the fan base on Wednesday when general manager Doug Armstrong announced that center Brayden Schenn, who is injured with an upper-body injury, is day to day rather that dealing with a serious injury of nature and isn't going to, at least for the time being, need to go on long-term injured-reserve. 

Schenn, who was initially injured Oct. 30 in a 1-0 win over Chicago when he was tripped from behind by Alex DeBrincat and crashed into the end boards, played the first game and period of the four-game trip but departed last Thursday after the first period at San Jose. The Blues sent him back to St. Louis for further evaluation, with there being fear something was serious in nature, but Armstrong said Schenn was on the ice Wednesday and could return soon.

"He's day to day still," Armstrong said without saying what specifically the injury is. "He's been at the rink, I think he was on the ice today; he's getting closer but still just day to day.

"Not at this point (LTIR). He looks like he's getting closer to playing. We're hoping that's not going to be necessary."

With the Blues navigating through three games in California, then having to make the long trip back to Winnipeg Tuesday to close the trip, they saw it best to get Schenn back to St. Louis after doctors assured the Blues the injury wasn't serious in nature.

"Not from what our doctors and what our training staff told me," Armstrong said. "Really what it was, he wasn't going to play those two games, so instead of carting him around the country, let's just get him back, get him rested, have him see our doctors and hopefully get ready for  when he returns. As I said, I think he was on the ice today, so he's getting closer, but just the thought of if he wasn't going to play these games, there was no sense of having him travel. That wasn't easy travel. Getting him home was the best way to go."

There's also good news on the Oskar Sundqvist front as well.

Sundqvist, who has been on LTIR since the start of the season recovering from the torn left ACL suffered last season, is also seeing a return closer and closer.

"He's gone from week to week I would say to getting closer to day to day," Armstrong said. "Hopefully we'll see him in the next little while again. It's just the comfort level of the banging now and practicing and getting pushed on. I certainly see light at the end of the tunnel and I think that's a positive thing, whether it's in the next seven days or 10 days or 14 days. We're hoping it's sooner than later. He's making good progress. There's been no setbacks and we're hoping there aren't any and we'll get him in the lineup real soon."

Another part of the equation is how do the Blues get Sundqvist into the fold as far as the salary cap and his $2.75 million cap hit. Armstrong said it won't be an issue.
(St. Louis Blues/Scott Rovak)
Oskar Sundqvist (70) is nearing a return from an ACL injury. Blues GM
Doug Armstrong said Sundqvist is down to day to day status.

"The cap wasn't going to be an issue," Armstrong said. "We started the season with him on our roster and put him on LTI, so we'll just have to move other guys down to the American Hockey League. We started the season with 'Sunny' on there as one of 23 and when he comes off, he'll be one of 23 at that point too."

* NOTES -- The Blues still have four players in COVID-19 protocol, defensemen Torey Krug and Niko Mikkola, goalie Ville Husso and forward Kyle Clifford.

Husso, according to coach Craig Berube, was slated to begin skating Thursday, and Clifford, would be the first of the four to return. 

"My understanding of the way the league and the PA would like us to document these is they're in protocol until they're not," Armstrong said. "So we're not going to put a timeline on it. We expect him to be back in relatively short order. I don't want to put an exact date on it just because we want to run through the necessary tests and give it the timeline, but I think all of our guys are getting closer to the finish line than they are to start line where it was a while ago."

If they are to miss the minimum 10 days, Krug and Mikkola would be eligible to return as early as Sunday, but with the league tweaking the mandate of the protocol rule, would anyone be eligible to return sooner?

"Not really," Armstrong said. "I don't think the tweak ... I'm not a doctor, so I'm not really sure. I'm not counting on (Krug) getting out any earlier than before and if he does, we'll be happy for that."

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