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Blues bits: Backes nears return, Sobotka placed on IR

Dec 20, 2013, 9:17 PM EDT

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The St. Louis Blues don’t expect to get David Backes (concussion) or Vladimir Sobotka (upper body) back against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, but their captain seems like he’s closer to returning.

While Sobotka was placed on the IR on Friday and isn’t expected to join the Blues during their brief road trip, Backes did travel with the team and seemed upbeat to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

It doesn’t hurt that the 29-year-old is traveling with the Blues and participated in an optional skate today.

“There’s been a little improvement every day and that’s a positive sign,” Backes said. “We’ll see how things transpires here in the next little while. Hopefully I’ll be an ice hockey player again in the near future.”

Backes was banged up by what he described as a less-than-optimal hit by Colin Greening of the Ottawa Senators on Monday. The Blues lost to Ottawa that night and San Jose on Tuesday but bounced back against Montreal on Thursday.

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