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Blackhawks Bits: Seth Jones may be back; Tyler Johnson is not

Chicago’s blue-line leader may return to action this week.

Chicago Blackhawks v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Zak Krill/2022 NHLI

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.

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:

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:

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: