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Hoge: Blackhawks Expect Sharp Back Before Playoffs

By Adam Hoge --

Consider this injury a dodged bullet.

Patrick Sharp's knee injury is not considered to be a longterm issue and the Blackhawks expect him to be back before the playoffs start, head coach Joel Quenneville said after practice Tuesday.

"We hope to have him back before the end of the regular season," Quenneville said. "Not longterm, but right now not long term is (long enough)."

For now, the Blackhawks will move on without him. Viktor Stalberg skated with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews on the first line Tuesday and he will get the first crack to fill in for Sharp.

But it's safe to say the Blackhawks got a little lucky with Sharp's  injury.

"It could have been much worse," Quenneville said. "It could have been Jordan Hendry."

That's another way of saying Sharp did not tear his ACL. Hendry was lost for the season Feb. 27 when he tore his left ACL.

In other injury updates, defenseman Brian Campbell (left foot) was back on the ice Tuesday, but was not sure if he would be able to play Wednesday night against the Florida Panthers. Campbell admitted he was winded in practice.

Meanwhile, Bolland has still made no progress since suffering a concussion earlier this month and it looks like the Blackhawks are preparing to move on without him. Reports in Sweden indicate Marcus Kruger is on his way to Chicago to join the Blackhawks and he could play Wednesday night.

While the move is not official, Quenneville did not shy away from talking about Kruger.

"He's a responsible player, he's got real good hockey sense as well as his instincts," he said. "Stan (Bowman) is working on that. We'll see how it works out."

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