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Blues’ Halak (groin) wants to return to practice Friday

Feb 6, 2013, 6:50 PM EDT

Jaroslav Halak AP

Hving missed the last four games and currently on injured reserve, Jaroslav Halak is anxious to get back into action.

And it might happen sooner rather than later.

Halak will reportedly try to return to practice on Friday, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Slovak netminder was seen walking around the Blues’ locker room on Tuesday without any noticeable pain, which had to be a welcome sight for teammates and head coach Ken Hitchcock.

Halak, 27, was a big part of St. Louis’ 6-1-0 start to the year — he went 3-0-0 and recorded shutouts against the Red Wings and Predators.

But Halak tweaked his groin during last Friday’s game against Detroit and was forced out of action, eventually landing on IR.

In his place, the Blues turned to ordinarily trusty backup Brian Elliot, who has been anything but.

Elliott has a 3-3 record with a .874 save percentage and 2.95 GAA, and was yanked in Tuesday’s 6-1 loss to Nashville after allowing four goals on 11 shots.

To make matters worse, the hook forced 22-year-old AHL call-up Jake Allen into his NHL debut, and he responded with an equally shaky performance — two goals on eight shots in 31 minutes of action.

Hitchcock said he hasn’t been pleased with his team’s goaltending this year, but also warned that any turnaround won’t just rely on the guy between the pipes, and that any turnaround won’t be quick.

“It’s not going to happen overnight,” Hitchcock said. “We can play better in that position. We can defend better, too.”

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