Ilya Kovalchuk injury: Devils forward returns to practice


Ilya Kovalchuk returned to practice for the first time since sustaining his shoulder injury at the end of March.

New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk was able to participate in practice with the team on Tuesday morning.

Kovalchuk has missed seven games since sustaining a shoulder injury against the Florida Panthers on March 23. The original projection for his return was slated at two-to-four weeks.

Head coach Pete DeBoer was unable to supply a timeline for a potential return to game action and stated that Kovalchuk would be evaluated on a day-by-day basis. He already confirmed that the forward would not be available for Wednesday night's game against the Boston Bruins.

However, DeBoer stated that he is willing to use Kovalchuk even if he isn't at 100 percent but made it clear that he didn't want to put his star player at risk of re-injury.

In terms of his participation at practice, Kovalchuk was still unable to shoot at full-strength but did attempt a few light wrist shots. He stated that he was unable to attempt shots two days ago, which is a positive improvement. He has yet to attempt a slap shot but described the session as good and believes he is still a few days away from returning.

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