Stastny has been out of action since suffering a broken right foot against the host Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 16 — Thursday’s game against the visiting Buffalo Sabres is the 15th he has missed — but he’s getting closer to making his return to the Blues.
“When I’m skating I think it feels really good and every day it has been getting better and better,” Stastny told reporters. “Now it’s just more about practicing with the guys for me and just kind of moving the puck around and catch and release and kind of making reads. Hopefully right now for me it’s we’ll take it day by day and I guess talk to the doctors, get an X-ray every couple days to see where it’s at and then once I’m cleared I should be good to go.”
Stastny’s second season with the Blues was off to a strong start.
He had five points (one goal, four assists) in the team’s first five games before suffering the injury, one that he admitted Thursday was just an unfortunate bounce of the puck.
“It just hit me like a weird angle,” Stastny said. “It didn’t hit me like where most shots get hit, that’s the only problem, and the puck was on edge. So that edge part hit my foot. So it was just an unfortunate bounce. What are you going to do? Sometimes it happens.”
Stastny has been skating on his own for a few days. Thursday’s appearance at the morning skate was his first time back with the full team.
It’s another positive sign for his return and toward the Blues piecing back together a roster that has been depleted by injuries to forwards — Jaden Schwartz (broken right ankle) and Patrik Berglund (right shoulder surgery) are also currently out with ailments.
“He’s not cleared yet, but with all the stuff that he’s been doing, once he’s cleared, then he’ll be able to just come in and play games right away,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters. “So I don’t think there’s going to be an adjustment phase as far as having him go and have to participate in some practices. He’s all the way back except for waiting for medical clearance, and that isn’t there yet.”
Stastny played in 74 games with St. Louis a season after signing a four year, $28 million contract as a free agent that made him, at that time, the team’s highest-paid player in terms of average annual value.
The St. Louis native was tied for sixth on the Blues in scoring with 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) while averaging 17:38 minutes per game.