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Matthew Highmore returns to practice for IceHogs just 3 months after shoulder surgery

The winger has missed 40-plus games for Rockford.

Brad Repplinger - Second City Hockey

Matthew Highmore was back on the ice Friday morning with the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL for the first time since November.

The Blackhawks forward prospect underwent surgery on his right shoulder Nov. 16 and has been out of action ever since. Highmore’s initial timeline was set for four to six months, but he’s ahead of schedule.

He was leading the IceHogs in scoring with three goals and seven points in eight games before missing seven games with the injury then going under the knife. Dylan Sikura is currently Rockford’s leading scorer with 30 points, but he was recalled by the Blackhawks on Monday.

Highmore scored two goals for the Blackhawks last season in 13 games. He played majority of his season with the IceHogs, finishing second in scoring on the team with 43 points (24 goals, 19 assists) in 64 regular-season games before adding nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 13 Calder Cup playoff games.

The 5-foot-11, 181-pound left winger has two years left on his entry-level deal.

The IceHogs are currently in fourth place in the Central Division with 54 points. Rockford hosts the Iowa Wild, who are second in the Central with 61 points, on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bank Center.