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Toews skates with Kane and Hossa at practice, “more confident” he’ll play Thursday

Apr 9, 2012, 1:23 PM EDT

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Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Al Montoya

While the Chicago Blackhawks closed out the season without the services of captain Jonathan Toews, things are shaping up so Toews might just be ready to go for Game 1 against Phoenix.

NHL.com’s Brian Hedger reports Toews took line rushes with Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa at this morning’s practice in Chicago. It’s the first time Toews has taken line rushes since going out of the lineup with a concussion. Toews also worked on the first power play unit and all signs seem to point toward Toews being cleared for game action soon.

The curious part of Toews recovery from a concussion is how it’s been handled. Just last week Toews talked about how he was having symptoms causing many to wonder if he was actually further off from returning than previously thought. With today’s developments, it’s hard to imagine that Toews won’t be ready to go against Phoenix for Game 1 on Thursday.

Update (via CSNChicago.com):

Toews spoke to reporters after practice and, while he didn’t fully commit to playing Thursday, he seems to be leaning towards it.

“We wanted to err on the cautious side by me not playing (at the end of the regular season). I’m feeling more confident that Thursday might be the day but we’ll see when that time comes,” said Toews. “Whenever I come back, I’ll definitely want to keep it simple and go out and play a gritty game. The key is not trying to do too much.”

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