Connor Murphy has missed six practices during training camp for the Blackhawks due to a groin injury.
“I tweaked my groin in one of the first few days [of training camp],” he said Friday. “It was one of those things when I was trying to get up to full speed, or do a sprint and kind of fast-twitch in the groin doesn’t feel too good. Unfortunately with skating you really can’t keep going with practice and let it rest, so I had to sit out a bit and make sure.”
The 27-year-old defenseman practiced with the taxi squad players Friday after participating in practice but not a scrimmage with the main group the day before. He was ruled “unfit to participate” on July 17 by coach Jeremy Colliton and was absent from training camp until Tuesday when he skated on his own. Chicago had Wednesday off.
“That’s just the way the programs are coming back is just to make sure every day you’re building more and more and not trying to rush it all at once,” Murphy said. “Everyday its felt better, better than it did the day before so we kinda continued that the last few days with skates and ramping up more. [Friday], I was out there with the second group doing more fast-burst things so hopefully we’ll see how it feels [Saturday] and the next few days we’ll definitely continue to progress.”
Murphy is one of 12 defensemen in training camp for the Blackhawks, who will play the Oilers in a best-of-five qualifier series starting Aug. 1. Brent Seabrook said Friday that he won’t play, which leaves 11 defensemen competing for spots on Chicago’s 31-man roster, which must be finalized and submitted to the NHL by Friday before they travel Sunday to Edmonton, the Western Conference hub city.
“I’m feeling good,” Murphy said. “It’s nice to slowly get back into it and see how I was feeling day to day. I definitely hope I’ll be good enough to play when the first games come, but for now I just got to go day by day and communicate with the trainers and make sure I’m not overdoing it to have more of a setback.”