The end of Marc-Andre Fleury’s time on the injured-reserve list may be near.
The Golden Knights’ 33-year-old starting goaltender worked out on the ice at City National Arena for the second day in a row after having passed the last of his protocols following a concussion Oct. 13. According to general manager George McPhee, Fleury could practice with the team as early as Wednesday if he doesn’t suffer any setbacks.
“He has passed his formal neuropsychology test, and now it’s the return-to-play protocol,” McPhee said. “If there are no setbacks, he’ll be cleared for full contact later in the week, hopefully by Wednesday.
“In our mind, his brain is 100 percent healed. We’ve used our specialists. We’ve sent him to other specialists. Everybody is in agreement that he’s in a good place right now.”
As for when Fleury, who has missed 22 games from what was the third documented concussion of his 14-year NHL career, might play again, McPhee wasn’t certain.
“The fitness level is really high,” McPhee said. “He’s trained really hard off the ice for several weeks now.”
Fleury took shots from David Perron and Brad Hunt with goaltenders coach David Prior watching closely for almost 30 minutes after Sunday morning’s pregame skate. He was not made available to the media following the workout.
Knights coach Gerard Gallant was encouraged to see Fleury on the ice.
“It’s a start,” he said. “Obviously getting on the ice is a big thing. We’ll see what happens over the next little while, but good for him. I’m sure he’s excited.”
Perron getting close
As for when Perron may be back in the lineup, McPhee said the right wing could be coming off IR any day from his upper-body injury.
“He’s doing very well. He’s been skating the past few days and he could be back out there this week,” McPhee said of Perron, who was injured Nov. 24 in the second period against San Jose and has missed the last five games, including Sunday’s.
As for right wing Will Carrier, who sustained an upper-body injury Nov. 25 and has missed the last four games, McPhee didn’t have a timetable for his return. Same for goaltender Oscar Dansk, who was injured Oct. 30 and has been out with a lower-body injury.
The Knights got some good news Sunday as defenseman Deryk Engelland returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s’s game against Winnipeg after he blocked a shot with his right hand Thursday against Minnesota. Hunt and Jon Merrill were healthy scratches Sunday against Arizona.
Gallant said he was going to re-shuffle his lines Sunday and return Alex Tuch to the third line with Cody Eakin and Brendan Leipsic after Tuch had been paired with Erik Haula and James Neal the last couple of games. Oscar Lindberg, who had been playing with Eakin, was expected to take Tuch’s place on Haula’s line.
White jerseys for Coyotes
The Knights wore their white road jerseys at home Sunday, only the second time this season they’ve done so. They wore white on Oct. 27 when they shut out Colorado 7-0.