Stars' Modano to return after missing 23 games

Updated: January 30, 2007, 5:12 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Mike Modano was activated and is expected to return to the lineup for the Dallas Stars for the first time in more than a month in Tuesday night's game against the San Jose Sharks.

Mike Modano
Modano

Modano, who has missed 23 games since Dec. 4 with a hip/groin injury, skated hard again during practice Monday in San Jose, Calif., where the Stars play their next two games. He said he felt good after practice.

"I'm as close as I'm going to get, so the sooner I can get back in, the better," Modano said Monday.

The Stars play against the Sharks again Thursday night, and at St. Louis on Saturday night.

"It's more of a mental thing where I want to feel 100 percent comfortable and confident. Until I get into a game, I won't know for sure," Modano said. "I've just been waiting to feel completely healthy as far as speed and explosiveness go, and I've been getting close the last few days. I feel like I'm turning a corner."

Modano returned to practice Thursday, the day after the NHL All-Star game in Dallas that he wasn't able to play in because of the injury.

Modano, a former No. 1 overall draft pick and the only player remaining on the Stars' roster that made the move from Minnesota to Dallas in 1993, is second in career goals and points for U.S.-born players. His 495 goals trail Joe Mullen's 502, and his 1,203 points trail Phil Housley.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.