Flames defenseman Michael Stone has been given the green light to participate in full practices for the first time since being diagnosed with a blood clot more than three months ago, reports Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson. It’s likely that he will be asked to take a conditioning stint with AHL Stockton in the next little while to get back into playing shape but he should be a boost to their defensive depth for the stretch run. Stone has played in just 11 games this season as a result of the clot, collecting four assists while playing a little more than 16 minutes per night.
More injury updates from around the league:
- Islanders winger Matt Martin is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, notes Arthur Staple of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’s not known when the injury occurred as he logged more than 13 minutes in their victory over Toronto on Thursday night. Martin’s return to New York has been a successful one as his ice time has jumped by more than four minutes a night over last season while he has chipped in offensively with 13 points, more than he had in either of his two years with the Leafs.
- Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson is at least a week away from returning to the lineup from his upper-body injury, notes Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This latest issue has kept the veteran out of the lineup for the better part of a month. GM Doug Armstrong acknowledged earlier in the week that their acquisition of Michael Del Zotto was in part due to the uncertainty surrounding Gunnarsson’s timeline for a return.
- Brett Howden has been cleared to return to the lineup and Rangers head coach David Quinn told reporters, including Greg Joyce of the New York Post, that he’s hopeful that the center will be able to return on Sunday against Washington. The rookie has been out of the lineup for more than a month due to an MCL sprain and with Kevin Hayes now gone to Winnipeg, he should be in line for more playing time down the stretch.