The Chicago Blackhawks may finally have some good news on the injury front.
Top defenseman Seth Jones, who’s been out for almost a month with a right thumb injury, told reporters on Tuesday that he’s planning to play in Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Stars.
Seth Jones expects to play tomorrow in Dallas. He’s been out since Oct. 29. He does have to wear a splint on his thumb.— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) November 22, 2022
Jones played in the first eight games this season with four assists and a team-high average ice time of 25:12. His thumb injury apparently happened during the second period of an Oct. 29 game against the Buffalo Sabres, although Jones did finish that game before heading to injured reserve.
Based on Tuesday’s practice, it appears that Jones will be reuniting with Jack Johnson on what was Chicago’s top defensive pairing for those initial eight games:
Seth Jones is fully participating in practice. He’s been paired with Jack Johnson.— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) November 22, 2022
The motivation for Jones’ earlier return could be a potential game in his hometown of Dallas, the city where his father — Ronald “Popeye” Jones — first played in the NBA with the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks.
But it does not appear that Jones will initially be reclaiming his spot on the point for the Blackhawks’ No. 1 power-play unit, because it was still that five-forward approach on the ice during Tuesday’s practice:
Hawks working more on the 5-forward PP with Kane, Domi, Toews, Kurashev and Raddysh.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) November 22, 2022
The news wasn’t all good, though. Forward Tyler Johnson has been out since Oct. 25 with an ankle injury and his return is not as imminent as Jones:
Luke Richardson said Tyler Johnson is experiencing some soreness with his ankle, so he's expected to miss a few more games.— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 22, 2022
It's not necessarily a setback, they just want him feeling 100% so a potential tweak doesn't turn into a "longer setback." #Blackhawks