‘I’m happy to be back’

Blackhawks’ Philipp Kurashev itching for return to lineup: ‘I’m happy to be back’

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NBC Sports Chicago

Chicago Blackhawks forward Philipp Kurashev is eager to make his season debut against the Boston Bruins after being sidelined for the first six games due to a left wrist injury.

“I feel great,” expressed Kurashev. “Thrilled to finally be back. It was a challenging time, but I’m truly happy now.”

Kurashev sustained the injury during his first preseason game while battling for a puck along the boards. He remains unsure of the exact cause.

“I had no idea,” admitted Kurashev. “I even practiced the next day, but the pain persisted.”

Kurashev did not travel with the Blackhawks on their five-game road trip to start the season, and he confessed that it was tough not to be with his new teammates.

“It’s the worst, especially after last season; towards the end, I was also injured, and then I get hurt again in preseason, so it’s not fun,” Kurashev acknowledged. “Mentally, it’s harder since you can’t be with the guys, especially on that long 11-day road trip. It was pretty tough, but now I’m glad to be back.”

In his first regular-season practice with the team on Monday, Kurashev skated on the wing of the third line alongside Jason Dickinson and Corey Perry. He also rotated in and out of the second power-play unit, taking on the bumper role.

The Blackhawks don’t want to rush his return, but they are excited to have him back as the offense could use a boost.

“He looked good in practice, so we’ll see how he feels in the morning to confirm,” said Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson. “He performed well out there today, but it’s only practice, not a game. He will assess his condition, incorporating some contact drills. If he feels good, we hope he’s ready to go.”

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