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McDonald not far from playing, says Blues coach

Mar 19, 2012, 12:43 PM EDT

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Andy McDonald Getty Images

St. Louis forward Andy McDonald shouldn’t be out much longer with a shoulder injury, coach Ken Hitchcock said yesterday. Ditto it seems for the rest of the injured Blues as they get set for a three-game western swing starting Wednesday in Anaheim.

“I don’t think he’s that far away from playing,” Hitchcock said of McDonald, as per NHL.com. “I don’t know when, but they’re all going to go on the trip, including [Matt] D’Agostini. [Jason] Arnott’s going to be on the trip, [David] Backes on the trip, Mac’s on the trip … everybody’s on the trip. We’ll pick up [Alex] Steen when we arrive. Hopefully Alex will skate with us on Tuesday or Wednesday and we’ll just see where everybody’s at.”

McDonald was hurt Thursday when shoved into the boards by Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu. He skated yesterday and said his shoulder felt “pretty good…better than I thought it would at this point.”

The Blues are six points up on Vancouver for first place in the Western Conference, so they can afford to be cautious with McDonald.

However, that’s not the way he’s looking at it.

“Because of my situation, coming back from the concussion, I’m really trying to get my game back up to speed, getting better as you head into the end of the season here and the playoffs,” McDonald said, as per the Post-Dispatch. “This is kind of a setback in terms of I don’t know when I’ll be back playing again. It’s great for our team to clinch a playoff spot, but personally, I want to be out there playing these games. I don’t want to be waiting until the first game of the playoffs getting back in.”

Related: Sigh of relief: David Backes’ left foot isn’t broken

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