Hjalmarsson nearing return


Niklas Hjalmarsson is closer to being 100 percent, closer to returning to the Blackhawks lineup. But hes not ready tonight.

The Blackhawks defenseman skated for the third consecutive day, this time with teammates, but is not ready to play tonight against the Detroit Red Wings.

Hjalmarsson, who has been out since the Blackhawks Jan. 7 game against Colorado, first suffered from the flu along with some other teammates. But coach Joel Quenneville said things changed prior to the Blackhawks Jan. 10 game against San Jose, and Hjalmarsson and fellow defenseman Steve Montador were sent home.

Hjalmarsson would only say Tuesday that he was a little nauseous in San Jose and just wanted to go home.

Its been frustrating watching the guys play. Thats the worst feeling, just sitting in the stands, he said. I just want to come back as soon as possible.

But it wont be tonight. Hjalmarsson said hes not 100 percent yet and that hes still working on his conditioning.

Its amazing how fast you lose everything and how long it takes to get it back, Hjalmarsson said. I just want to feel 100 percent when I get back. If I played today wouldnt feel comfortable. I would think I would be a liability out there instead of an asset.

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