Blue Jackets get defenseman Seth Jones back in the lineup

Columbus Blue Jackets All-Star defenseman Seth Jones is returning from a sprained knee on the early side of the four-to-six-week estimate of time he would miss.

The 24-year-old, who suffered a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament in a Sept. 25 preseason game, was activated from injured reserve and will be back in the lineup when Columbus hosts Arizona Tuesday.

"I don't know how much happier I can be to be back," Jones said, according to NHL.com.

Jones was a first-time All-Star in 2017 and was selected again last season but missed the game due to illness. He finished last season with 16 goals and 41 assists for a Columbus team that had 97 points in the regular season. The Blue Jackets lost to the Cup-winning Capitals in the first round of the playoffs.

Jones will return to a defensive pairing with Zach Werenski, who is happy to have him back.

"We read off each other and know what the other is going to do," Werenski said, according to NHL.com. "We have the same mindset offensively. If he's up in the play, I'm going to read off him. If I'm up he's going to read off me. We just work well together."

Although Jones will wear a brace on the knee, his minutes will not be limited.

The Blue Jackets are off to a 4-3-0 start and sit fourth in the Metropolitan Division.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.