Blackhawks' Hossa hopes to play in opener
Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa returned to practice on Friday and said he hopes to play in Tuesday's season opener after missing more than a week due to an undisclosed upper-body injury.
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa returned to practice on Friday and said he hopes to play in Tuesday's season opener after missing more than a week due to an undisclosed upper-body injury.
Hossa skated on his own Thursday and participated in his first team practice Friday. He wouldn't say whether his injury was related to the back problems he dealt with during the Stanley Cup finals last season, but he confirmed he suffered the latest injury during the first week of training camp. He hasn't played in the team's first five preseason games.
Hossa said after the Stanley Cup finals that one of the discs in his back was shooting into his nerves, and he couldn't feel his right foot. He was scratched from Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals and returned for the remainder of the series. He wasn't as effective in the final three games. He said surgery was a possibility after the season, but he was able to avoid it.
Hossa said he felt good after Friday's practice at the United Center, but he wants to see how his body responds. He's already been ruled out of the Blackhawks' final preseason game on Saturday.
"We'll see how I react tomorrow and tonight," Hossa said. "I definitely felt pretty good today."
Hossa was hopeful the injury won't bother him all season.
"I hope not, to tell you the truth," Hossa said. "That would be in a pain in the butt. I really hope it's going to be the opposite. Take care of it and it'll be healing for the rest of the year.
"I try to stay positive. I know I look at myself; I'm going to be 35 years old. I know there's going to be some more injuries than when I was younger. I try to go through the season a positive way and try to keep up with the young guys."
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he will consider giving some of the older players, specifically Hossa, Michal Handzus and Michal Rozsival, additional time off in practice and games this season.
"Whether it's Hossa, we think of Handzus is in that group and Rozsival, whether it's the frequency of games, back-to-back games, whether it's ice time or dressing that night, we'll consider a lot of that," Quenneville said.
Hossa has had a variety of injuries since joining the Blackhawks in 2009. He had lower-body injuries in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, suffered a severe head injury during the 2012 playoffs and missed time with upper- and lower-body injuries last season.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said last week he wasn't concerned that Hossa's latest injury would be a continuous problem.
"I think injuries are part of the game," Bowman said. "Marian's been a very durable player over the years. Things come up now and then, but I'm not worried long-term for that."
Hossa had 17 goals and 14 assists in 40 regular-season games and seven goals and nine assists in 22 playoff games last season.
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