After missing most of the season with a hip injury, Texas’ favorite Russian youngster Valeri Nichushkin will be returning to NHL play this weekend.
Nichushkin was taken out in November, with the injury requiring surgery and taking about 4 months to heal. Once it was felt that he was ready to return to play, Nichushkin was sent to the Texas Stars in the AHL on a conditioning assignment to gauge where he was at in the recovery process and test the waters for his return to Dallas. Val played three games with the Texas Stars, picking up three assists in the last game, leading the Stars to a 7-4 victory.
Nichushkin was able to skate at the Dallas Stars practice in Frisco, Texas on Thursday morning, skating with Travis Moen and Colton Sceviour. Normally, Shawn Horcoff would be on the fourth line, but missed practice due to illness. He will be a gameday decision on Friday. Nichushkin is expected to play in at least one of the Stars’ next two games, but could possibly play in both.
“He’s real excited to be back playing. To be back here and have the opportunity to play, he is real excited,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “He is definitely going to play one, and he could play both.”
See Valeri Nichushkin’s post-game interview with the Texas Stars HERE.