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Versteeg, van Riemsdyk Making Progress in Injury Recovery

Versteeg isn't expected back during the current road trip, but is making progress

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    CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 01: Kris Versteeg #23 of the Chicago Blackhawks waits for a face-off against the Montreal Canadiens during a preason game at the United Center on October 1, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The Canadiens defeated the Blackhaws 3-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

    The Chicago Blackhawks got some good news on the injury front on Wednesday, as head coach Joel Quenneville provided status updates on two of their injured players.

    The first was Kris Versteeg, who has been sidelined nearly a month after suffering a hand injury in the Winter Classic. The winger began skating on Wednesday in Chicago according to Quenneville, but the Blackhawks’ head coach doesn’t believe that Versteeg will return to the lineup while the team is on their west coast road trip.

    Versteeg was initially expected to be out for a month with the injury, but it appears that the Hawks slightly undershot on that projection. The winger was placed on long-term injured reserve by the team after Daniel Carcillo’s suspension, but the designation is likely a retroactive one, meaning that he won’t have to sit out 10 more games with the ailment.

    The other bit of good news was that defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, who suffered a broken kneecap earlier this season, could begin skating next week as he looks to take the next big step in his recovery from the injury.

    Van Riemsdyk’s absence from the lineup has forced the Hawks to make a variety of tough decisions. Michal Rozsival has been playing a large amount of games on defense after alternating games with Sheldon Brookbank through most of last season, and both Tim Erixon and David Rundblad have been playing a lot of games as well.

    The Blackhawks will return to action on Wednesday night when they take on the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center.