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‘Good chance’ Patrick Sharp will be back in Blackhawks’ lineup Tuesday

Updated: April 7, 2013 10:18PM



If the Blackhawks were fighting for a playoff spot, instead of fighting for the Presidents’ Trophy, Patrick Sharp surely would have been back by now. He’s been out for more than four weeks, has been skating for three weeks, has been back at practice for 10 days and has been taking contact for a week.

“It’s just like any other injury that you guys have covered,” Sharp said on Wednesday. “There’s discussion with the player, doctor, trainers, coaches — everybody is involved. Trust me, it sucks sitting there watching games. I want to be out there and as soon as I’m allowed to, I’ll be playing.”

The key word there is “allowed.” Given the luxury of their lofty status in the standings, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville has been hyper-cautious in allowing Sharp to return from the shoulder injury he suffered on March 6. Sunday night’s game against Nashville was the 14th straight Sharp has missed.

But it also might be his last.

Quenneville said Sunday that there’s a “good chance” Sharp will be on the trip to Minnesota for Tuesday’s game against the Wild.

“It’ll be nice to get him going here,” Quenneville said. “I think we probably added a couple extra days to his time away, but he’s been skating well and he wants to play, and we look forward to getting him in the lineup, because it give us a lot more options with the lines.”

Quenneville said Sharp has been itching to play for a while now, but that he wanted to play it extra safe.

The Hawks also were without second-line center Dave Bolland for the second straight game on Sunday. Bolland took a Shea Weber slap shot off the foot last Monday and left the game. He played Thursday against St. Louis, but has been unable to go this weekend. It appears unlikely Bolland will be able to play Tuesday, either.

Without both of his usual second-line linemates, right wing Patrick Kane again skated with center Marcus Kruger and left wing Daniel Carcillo on Sunday.



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