Gustav Forsling returned to practice Wednesday morning for the first time since having surgery on his right wrist on July 31. The Blackhawks have not given specifics about why Forsling had the surgery.
The Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry gave the defenseman a 14-week timetable to return to action. That timeline puts Forsling’s return at Oct. 30, meaning he will miss at least nine more games. The Blackhawks play Oct. 31 at Vancouver, who traded him to Chicago in January 2015 for Adam Clendening.
The 22-year-old Forsling has bounced between the NHL and AHL the past two seasons. Forsling, a left-handed shot, scored three goals and 13 points in 41 games last season for Chicago. He also posted five points (two goals, three assists) in 18 regular-season games for Rockford and added a goal and five points in 13 Calder Cup playoff contests.
Rookie defenseman Henri Jokiharju (flu-like symptoms) also did not practice Wednesday, but he will travel to Minnesota for the Blackhawks’ game Thursday against the Wild. The 19-year-old’s five assists through three games are tied for fourth in the league.
Goaltender Anton Forsberg appeared to injure his right hand during practice, reports John Dietz of The Daily Herald. The team’s training staff then tapped up his hand. Coach Joel Quenneville said the injury was not serious.
Cam Ward will start his fourth consecutive game for the Blackhawks. The 34-year-old has a 2-0-1 record with a 4.62 goals-against average and .843 save percentage. Quenneville even gave Ward the nod over Forsberg on Sunday for the team’s home opener against the Maple Leafs on the heels of a back-to-back. Ward allowed seven goals in the overtime loss.