The Chicago Blackhawks got some good news injury-wise when forward Patrick Sharp skated with teammates during their morning skate in preparation for Friday night's exhibition game against the Penguins.
Sharp, who underwent an emergency appendectomy Sept. 12, has been skating by himself this week but took a big step in his recovery when he joined practice at the United Center.
The veteran has targeted a return for the first game of the regular season when the Hawks face the Stars in Dallas on Oct. 7. Sharp, 29, had 34 goals and 37 assists in 74 games last season. He had surgery after experiencing discomfort prior a charity golf event and the initial prognosis called for him to miss three to four weeks.
"It's really something that's day-to-day," Sharp said. "I've felt better every 24 hours since the surgery. Noticeable difference. If that continues I like to think I could play pretty soon.
"I don't want to miss any games. That's what our goal has been all along. I don't want to say I'm ready to go (Oct. 7) and have something happen. It feels pretty good right now. It's just a matter of passing tests. It's a process. Every injury you have to take the right steps."
Not on the ice for the Hawks on Friday were Dave Bolland (upper body), Viktor Stalberg (knee) and Ben Smith (concussion).
Joel Quenneville said Smith, who was injured during Wednesday's game against the Red Wings when Detroit Brendan Smith's delivered an illegal blow ot the head, "was about the same" as Thursday when the coach described him as "okay."
Quenneville added that Bolland's injury is not serious and he is considered day-to-day.
Blackhawks' Sharp practices with teammates