September 6, 2018 / 11:16 PM / 10 months ago

Blues' Tarasenko (shoulder) close to return

Jun 22, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko walks the red carpet during the 2016 NHL Awards at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko said Thursday he hopes to be cleared to return to the ice when training camp opens next week.

Tarasenko underwent left shoulder surgery nearly five months ago. He was injured in a collision along the boards with Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog in the Blues’ final game of the regular season.

Tarasenko’s recovery was estimated to take four to six months. The Russian is optimistic after working his way back from the reconstructive surgery, having resumed skating about a month ago.

“I’m pretty close,” he told reporters in Chicago at an NHL promotional event. “It’s been pretty hard and boring sometimes, but the guys do a good job who work with me.”

Tarasenko, 26, had 66 points in 80 games last season. His 33 goals led the Blues, while his 33 assists ranked fourth.

Tarasenko has scored more than 30 goals in each of the past four seasons. In 421 regular-season games, Tarasenko has 178 goals and 172 assists for 350 points.

—Field Level Media

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