Filip Chytil ‘looks ready’ in return to practice, but Rangers won’t rush him back

Filip Chytil’s season appeared to be over.

The young Rangers winger was said to be shut down for the remainder of the year after suffering a setback during practice while working his way back from an upper-body injury sustained earlier this season.

There had been no word on Chytil’s status for quite some time, but then, on Friday morning, he was spotted on the ice during the team’s practice in a regular white jersey as opposed to a red non-contact jersey.

After being fully cleared to return by the organization’s medical staff, the 24-year-old told head coach Peter Laviolette and the rest of the staff that he was ready to get back out there with his teammates.

Chytil was seen taking line rushes and participating in full contact drills, so he faced no limitations in his return to the ice, but the team says they will be cautious with him for the time being.

“It’s great to have him back out there,” Laviolette said. “He looks great, it looked like he was having fun out there, but we’re not going to rush him. Whenever he feels and the eyes on him feel and the power that be feel he’s in a good spot, that’s a different story, but right now there’s no timetable.”

Even if he were ready to roll right out of the gate, the earliest Chytil would be able to crack the starting lineup would be Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs due to cap-related issues after he was placed on IR.

It remains to be seen if he’ll be able to make it back then, but if he can, getting the former first-round pick would be a huge boost for the already high-powered Blueshirts lineup.

Chytil followed up a strong postseason showing two years ago with a breakout campaign in which he posted career-highs across the board with 22 goals and 23 assists for a total of 45 points.

After carrying that over to training camp and preseason action this season, he produced six assists across the first 10 games before suffering the injury.

“He’s an important player for us,” Artemi Panarin told Vince Mercogliano of USA Today Sports. “It’s nice to have him back, especially at this time. He’s doing pretty well, he looks ready physically, and everyone is happy for him.”