Brenden Morrow getting closer to return

FRISCO -- Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow is getting closer to returning to the lineup after missing the last 18 games with neck and back issues. The Stars took Morrow off injured reserve Friday, making him eligible to play Saturday night against the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center.

Whether Morrow will play is still up in the air. That will be decided some time Saturday, after he goes through the team’s morning skate. If Morrow can’t play Saturday, he should be ready to go for Tuesday’s game at Minnesota.

"I think we'll see after the morning skate where he is at," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "I would say Tuesday Brenden is for sure and tomorrow, we'll see after the morning skate."

Morrow hasn’t played since February 2. He’s spent a lot of time working off ice on the neck and back issues and resumed skating at the beginning of the month. He practiced with the team for the first time on Thursday and went through an optional practice Friday, wrapping up the day with some hard skating.

"Right now it's one day at a time. I got a good skate in today. I'll see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow," Morrow said.

As for the injury, there have been no problems.

“The pain is gone,” he said. “It’s been four weeks now of trying to get the back to settle down. It feels really good.”

Whether he plays Saturday or Tuesday, Morrow is itching to get back in the lineup to help the surging Stars, who have climbed to the top of the Pacific Division with an 8-0-1 run.

“This is where I want to be, a part of this,” Morrow said. “The team is on a roll and I’d like to get back in there and help them out.”

And the Stars are looking forward to the return of their captain.

“Brenden is a great player and we can't wait to get him back. He's our captain, he's our leader, and we want him back healthy,” said Gulutzan. “There's no question getting him back in our lineup makes us a better hockey club.”

Notes: Souray out

*Stars forward Sheldon Souray, who left Thursday’s game with a lower body injury, won’t play Saturday. Gulutzan said Souray is 50-50 to play in the back-to-back games in Minnesota and Winnipeg on Tuesday and Wednesday.

*Stars forward Steve Ott, who missed Thursday’s game with back spasms, is questionable for Saturday.

*Defenseman Mark Fistric, who left Thursday’s game with a hand injury, is fine and is expected to play Saturday.