Golden Knights’ Mark Stone cleared to return to practice on limited basis after lacerated spleen

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone has been cleared to return to practice on a limited basis as he recovers from a lacerated spleen, the team said Friday.

Stone was injured on Feb. 20 after a hit from the Nashville PredatorsYakov Trenin. He was expected to participate in a non-contact jersey beginning Friday during the team’s morning skate, the team announced on X.

In 56 games this season, Stone has 16 goals and 37 assists for 53 points.

Vegas, the defending Stanley Cup champion, has four games remaining this season, all at home. They’ll take a three-game losing streak into Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

At present, the Knights would be the second wild card in the Western Conference. They also are a point behind the Los Angeles Kings for the third spot in the Pacific Division.

On Thursday, the Golden Knights announced newly acquired defenseman Noah Hanifin had been signed to an eight-year contract worth an average of $7.3 million per year.

Center/forward Tomas Hertl, also acquired at the trade deadline, carries a $6.75 million salary against the salary cap.

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