Blackhawks injury and lineup updates: Corey Crawford remains on track to return next week

Charlie Roumeliotis
NBC Sports Chicago
<p>A rundown of injury updates and lineup changes for the Blackhawks following Wednesday's practice, including an update on Corey Crawford's status.</p>

Blackhawks injury and lineup updates: Corey Crawford remains on track to return next week

A rundown of injury updates and lineup changes for the Blackhawks following Wednesday's practice, including an update on Corey Crawford's status.

After a three-day break, the Blackhawks will return to action on Thursday to take on the Minnesota Wild in their first Central Division showdown of the season.

But there are several injury updates and lineup changes to note following Wednesday's practice. Here's a rundown of them:

- Corey Crawford will not travel to Minnesota, according to a source, but coach Joel Quenneville said he remains on track to return on Oct. 18 against the Arizona Coyotes.

"He's seeing pucks, he's seeing traffic, he's seeing everything you want," Quenneville said. "He's getting a couple, three weeks to get game type of situations every day in practice. That's the hope, that's the target and right now he's looking forward to it.

- Anton Forsberg left practice a little bit early after chatting with head trainer Mike Gapski on the bench for about five minutes and appeared to get his right hand taped up. But he apparently took a puck in a funny spot and is fine.

- Gustav Forsling has been skating on his own for several weeks now as he continues to recover from a wrist injury, but he fully practiced with the Blackhawks for the first time and wasn't put on any kind of restriction. Quenneville said his timeline has not changed, as he's still 2-3 weeks away.

When Forsling is cleared to return, the Blackhawks expect him to be in the lineup right away. But it will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out if everyone is healthy, considering there's no interest in carrying eight defensemen like last season and they're currently at seven.

"We'll want to get him playing right off the bat," Quenneville said. "He looked good out there. I liked how he skated, but we'll want him playing right off the bat and then go from there."

- Rookie standout Henri Jokiharju missed practice because of flu-like symptoms. He is traveling to Minnesota and is expected to play.

- Andreas Martinsen hasn't practiced for the last two days because of a back injury. It's unclear when he'll return.

"I don't know when he'll get on the ice, but hopefully real soon," Quenneville said. "I don't  think it's serious, but he's not going to Minnesota."

- With Martinsen injured, Alexandre Fortin was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League on Tuesday night to be the 23th man on the roster. Quenneville indicated that he will play against the Wild rather than serve as the 13th forward.

Fortin rotated in and out with Luke Johnson on the fourth line, alongside Marcus Kruger and John Hayden.

"I think just watching games in the league and the game is fast, it's quick," Quenneville said. "We always want an extra forward around anyways and it gives us an opportunity to get a look at him today and I think seeing him in a game tomorrow will be good to give us something to look at and try something as well."

- There is no news on Connor Murphy, who has been out since the start of training camp with a back injury. On Sept. 19 it was announced that he will be off the ice for six weeks before reevaluating his progression, pushing back his timeline to 8-12 weeks. Wednesday marked the third week. The Blackhawks may not seen him until late November or December.

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