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Blackhawks’ Brandon Saad returns to practice for first time since right ankle injury

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Dylan Strome is ‘very questionable’ to return before the NHL All-Star break.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Saad could play for the first time in almost a month due to a right-ankle injury when the Blackhawks visit the Maple Leafs on Saturday in Toronto.

The left wing participated in the team’s practice Friday, but head coach Jeremy Colliton didn’t commit to saying whether or not Saad would play Saturday. Saad did compete in the Blackhawks’ skills sessions prior to practices earlier in the week before the team started its road trip through Eastern Canada.

Saad has missed the past 12 games after his right ankle twisted underneath him when he was hit by Jets defenseman Luca Sbisa on Dec. 19 in Winnipeg. Saad has 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 35 games this season.

Colliton also said it’s “very questionable” if center Dylan Strome returns before the NHL All-Star break. The Blackhawks placed Strome on injured reserve, retroactive to Jan. 7, when he sustained a right-ankle injury of his own. He’s eligible to return from injured reserve when he’s cleared to compete.

Chicago plays three games before the break, starting Saturday in Toronto then two home games Sunday against the Jets and Tuesday against the Panthers.