Blackhawks return from bye week with plenty of good injury news

Tyler Johnson will return Tuesday, Jarred Tinordi could return Friday and Alex Stalock and Jujhar Khaira are trending in the right direction. Jonathan Toews’ pattern of illnesses is becoming worrisome, however.

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Blackhawks defenseman Jarred Tinordi battles for the puck.

Blackhawks defenseman Jarred Tinordi hasn’t played since requiring face surgery in December but could return this weekend.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Blackhawks defenseman Jarred Tinordi finally can eat normal food again.

When Tinordi had the bands holding his jaw in place removed last month, he celebrated by ordering a Five Guys cheeseburger. And on Jan. 25, more than a month after taking a shot to the face that required surgery, the last of his wires and screws were taken out.

He’s now close to returning to action. The Hawks plan to hold him out Tuesday against the Ducks — their first game back from their bye week and the All-Star break — and reinsert him into the lineup Friday against the Coyotes or Saturday at the Jets.

‘‘I feel like I’m ready to go,’’ Tinordi said. ‘‘The break was nice. It came at a good time for me.’’

Tinordi was part of a wave of good injury news surrounding the Hawks as they returned to practice Sunday.

It turns out forward Tyler Johnson didn’t reaggravate his ankle severely. He has been cleared to return Tuesday, coach Luke Richardson said, meaning he will miss only three games from this most recent injury.

Goalie Alex Stalock’s second concussion of the season hasn’t proved to be as severe, either. He didn’t practice Sunday, but he worked individually on the ice with goalie coach Jimmy Waite afterward. If he has no setbacks this week, Stalock might go with the Hawks on their four-game Canadian road trip, which starts Saturday in Winnipeg.

Forward Jujhar Khaira, who has been out since Christmas with a back injury, is on track to play again this season. That’s reassuring news, considering he never returned from his back injury last season, ultimately needing surgery. He’s working out off the ice and might resume skating soon.

The one potential concern is captain Jonathan Toews, who missed practice with a non-COVID illness. It’s the third time since the start of December that Toews has been sick. He missed the Hawks’ second-to-last game before the bye week with an illness, too.

‘‘[It’s the] same thing as before but not the same,’’ Richardson said cryptically. ‘‘Hopefully he gets his energy back and he’s ready to be back soon.’’

Toews evaded two questions about his health during an interview Jan. 19 in equally cryptic fashion, implying he felt well below 100% by doing so. It’s unknown whether these recent issues are connected to the chronic inflammatory response syndrome that kept him out the entire 2020-21 season.

With or without their captain, the Hawks plan to work more on systems during practice Monday. Richardson said he thinks ‘‘it’s time to add a few twists’’ to their tactics, particularly offensively.

Tuesday will mark the Hawks’ first of 13 games — five at home, eight on the road — in a 24-day span leading up to the trade deadline March 3. As it approaches, the deadline increasingly will overshadow anything the Hawks do on the ice.

Richardson said general manager Kyle Davidson has been keeping him informed about the trade market, although calls are quiet at the moment.

Tinordi, at least, should be well-rested for the coming stretch. The month off for his face to heal also allowed other bumps and bruises on his body to heal, such as a hip injury that cost him five games in late November and early December.

This weekend almost might feel like starting a new season.

‘‘When I was hurt, my schedule was pretty tough,’’ Tinordi said. ‘‘I was out here [at Fifth Third Arena] by myself, skating. But as far as little nagging stuff during the year? Looking at it that way, it’s good to feel recovered and normal again.’’

There is one catch, however.

‘‘I don’t think he was happy he has to wear a cage [on his helmet] for a while,’’ Richardson said, chuckling. ‘‘They had to bring the doctor in. He thought they were lying to him.’’

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