<
>

Versteeg uncertain for opener after injury

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg suffered a lower-body injury during practice on Tuesday and could miss the season opener on Thursday, according to coach Joel Quenneville.

"It wasn't very good when we first saw him," Quenneville said after practice on Tuesday. "We'll see. We'll know more [Wednesday]."

Quenneville said Versteeg's injury isn't related to his previous knee injury. Versteeg underwent season-ending knee surgery during March of 2013 and admitted he returned too soon from his rehab last season and he lacked his usual speed as a result.

Versteeg spent this past offseason strengthening his knee and believed he had returned to his old self during the preseason. He was expected to start the season with Bryan Bickell and Brad Richards on a line.

"It's never good getting hurt," Quenneville said. "Obviously strange things can happen. I don't know how bad it is, so we'll know more. I really liked his camp coming off a frustrating year and trying to get back after a major injury. He prepared himself. He's very disappointed right now. But at the same time, his camp showed us what he's capable of -- getting back to be an elite player and a top guy. We still see that being his mindset and our mindset and his goal this year."

The Blackhawks open the season on the road against the Dallas Stars on Thursday.