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Blues say Tarasenko could return on upcoming road trip

"It really boils down to doctor's clearance, the trainer's clearance. Then it's up to the player to decide from a mental standpoint if he's ready to play"
Credit: AP
St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko skates against the New York Islanders during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Blues assistant captain Vladimir Tarasenko could be returning to the lineup soon.

Blues head coach Craig Berube said there’s a chance he could return on the team’s upcoming six-game West Coast trip.

"Yeah, there's a good chance (he plays)," Berube said Friday. "I would say so, yeah."

During Friday’s practice at Centene Community Ice Center, Tarasenko took some reps on a line with Brayden Schenn and David Perron.

"I put him on a line today because he is getting close," Berube said. "I want him to go with a line and see how he looks and get some reps there... He's itching and ready to go, too. It's been awhile for him, and a long road. He's done a real good job of conditioning and doing what he had to do to be in shape, with rehab and everything. The credit goes to him and the training staff of our hockey team."

Tarasenko had his shoulder surgically repaired in October 2019 and required surgery again in August 2020. He only played in 10 regular season games and two playoff games for the Blues in 2020. 

"It really boils down to doctor's clearance, the trainer's clearance," Berube said. "Then it's up to the player to decide from a mental standpoint if he's ready to play. When a player comes to me and says he's ready to play and he's cleared, I put him in."

"Vladi is a great player, he's been a great scorer in this League for a long time," Berube added.

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