The long wait could soon be over for Teuvo Teravainen of the Carolina Hurricanes.
The winger, who has been dealing with concussion symptoms for almost two months, participated in a team practice Friday at PNC Arena. While Teravainen has done some skating on his own the past few weeks, he was able to take part in all the drills and put in an entire practice session.
Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said he was not sure when Teravainen would be able to return to the lineup. His last game was March 4 against the Detroit Red Wings.
“I’d love to be able to say it’s close but it’s up to him,” Brind’Amour said on a media call. “He’s got to feel confident in his ability to go out and play the way he can.
“The positive thing is he’s out there with us. That’s a lot better than it was. That’s a good step in the right direction and who knows. Whether it will be soon, I can’t tell you.”
Teravainen, the Canes’ second-leading scorer in the 2019-20 season, has played 13 of the 42 games in what has been a challenging season for the Finnish forward. He missed three games early this season while in the NHL COVID-19 protocol and in quarantine, returned to play nine games, then took a big hit from Chicago defenseman Nikita Zadorov in the Feb. 19 game against the Blackhawks at PNC Arena.
After sitting out seven games, Teravainen was back in the lineup for the March 4 game against Detroit. But he has not played since that night, missing the past 19 games.
Teravainen was not on either of the power-play units Friday in practice. He took a few line rushes with center Sebastian Aho and winger Andrei Svechnikov, although Jesper Fast was the third member of the Aho line during most of the practice.
Brind’Amour has said Teravainen could be a “wild card” for the Canes, that having him come back in the lineup would be like the team make a big trade addition.
“He’s a top-end forward that plays a 200-foot game,” Brind’Amour said Thursday. “We’re missing him. He’s a huge loss.”
Brind’Amour recently said that Teravainen appeared to be “turning a corner” in his recovery. Asked Friday if going through a team practice meant Teravainen had turned that “corner,” Brind’Amour said, “I don’t want to jinx this, that’s for sure, but it’s a good sign that he is actually with us, practicing in a regular jersey or whatever and with no restrictions.”
The Canes (28-10-4) finish off a two-game set with the Nashville Predators on Saturday at PNC Arena, closing out their eight-game homestand.
Carolina Hurricanes vs Nashville Predators
When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh.
TV: BSSO (Bally).