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Blackhawks' Connor Bedard could make surprise return on Thursday vs. Pittsburgh

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Connor Bedard is getting closer to his much-anticipated return. And it apparently could come as soon as Thursday when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, Bedard and the Blackhawks are "checking in with doctors about the possibility of playing tonight vs. Pittsburgh."

If Bedard does make a surprise return, he would do so having taken zero contact since undergoing jaw surgery on Jan. 8. The Blackhawks aren't holding a morning skate on Thursday, which means he'd be thrown right into the fire.

It sounds like Bedard had an imaging scan on Wednesday morning, and he was hoping to practice with the team later that day. But the Blackhawks probably wanted to be extra cautious about it and kept him in a non-contact jersey, which had always been the plan.

Regardless of whether or not he does actually play on Thursday, the fact it's even a conversation indicates Bedard is on the cusp of returning very soon.

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