Viktor Stalberg ready to return

Updated: December 21, 2010, 3:34 PM ET
By Jesse Rogers | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks will get one of their walking wounded back from injury, but two other stars remain out.

Viktor Stalberg declared himself ready for action against the Nashville Predators on Wednesday, but Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane will not play.

"We're going to shoot for after Christmas with Hossa," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He looked good out there today. He's close."

Hossa practiced with his team and then stayed on the ice for over a half hour running drills by himself on Tuesday. He's missed the last nine games after colliding with a teammate in practice last month.

Kane did not practice on Tuesday making it three straight days off the ice for him as he recovers from an ankle injury suffered Dec. 7.

"I still think he's able to do a lot off the ice," Quenneville said. "I think his conditioning is still going to be right for game conditions. It's just a matter until he feels good on the ice. He's not too far away either."

Kane skated for several days but in obvious discomfort, though Quenneville stressed there has been no setback. Neither Kane nor Hossa were available for comment after practice.

Stalberg's discomfort is behind him after being checked into the boards from behind last Wednesday against Colorado. He left that contest with concussion-like symptoms and missed the next two, but says he's ready.

"I'm cleared to play," Stalberg said. "He hit me in a bad spot. It happens sometimes. I've been cleared as far as the protocol and all that stuff that has to be done."

Quenneville didn't go as far as declaring him in the lineup for Wednesday but said "we'll see how he is tomorrow. There is a chance he could play."

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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