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Blackhawks’ Duncan Keith hopeful to return from groin injury vs. Avalanche

Chicago is 3-5-1 in nine games without the defenseman.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

The Blackhawks may receive an early gift during the holiday season Wednesday with defenseman Duncan Keith returning to the lineup.

The 36-year-old defenseman has skated on his own the past few days and returned to practice Monday for the first time since sustaining a groin injury Nov. 29 against the Avalanche. He’s hopeful he’ll return Wednesday against Colorado, but the Blackhawks are taking the situation day by day.

Keith said he dealt with the injury for most of the season, but felt “a pop” during the Black Friday game.

The Blackhawks are 3-5-1 in nine games without Keith in the lineup. Defensemen Calvin de Haan (right shoulder) and Olli Maatta (illness) have also missed time during that span. De Haan has missed three games after he re-injured his shoulder and will reportedly be out four-to-five months, but the team has yet to provide an official timeline. Maatta missed four games, but has skated in the Blackhawks’ past three games.