After saying last week that he was healthy and ready to play, it turns out goaltender Corey Crawford has yet to be medically cleared to return to the Blackhawks.
Crawford has been practicing and believes he has recovered from the concussion he suffered in December but still must complete the NHL’s protocol.
“I meant I was healthy and 100 percent,” Crawford clarified after practice Tuesday. “It doesn’t take long to do the physical test and whatever we have to do at the computer. That doesn’t take long, so I wasn’t really thinking about that stuff.”
He is expected to undergo final testing at the end of this week.
Coach Jeremy Colliton has been tightlipped about Crawford and offered little other than to say he will not travel with the team for its game at Detroit on Wednesday. If cleared, his next opportunities would be home games against the Avalanche on Friday and Stars on Sunday.
• Get over it: Blackhawks G Collin Delia can’t sulk after debacle vs. Senators
• Blackhawks D Brent Seabrook (injury) out vs. Red Wings
Crawford is eager to play, but he admitted his puck tracking is still a work in progress and would benefit from a few more practices before he faces live action.
“Today felt good,” he said. “When you first come back, it’s kind of like you’re stopping pucks on accident almost. The game’s so fast, it’s hard to be on right away. And then maybe you go back to sucking for a little bit, then the timing comes back.”
The Hawks have an open roster spot to add Crawford without having to make any corresponding move.