<
>

Blues' David Perron to return Saturday

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues forward David Perron, out almost 13 months with a concussion, is set to return to the lineup Saturday.

Including Friday night's game at Colorado, Perron will have missed 97 games since being injured on a high check from the Sharks' Joe Thornton on Nov. 4, 2010. Perron will return for a home game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"It's been a long road, obviously," Perron said. "I didn't expect it to be that long, obviously, in a short career so far. I'm just glad to be back to 100 percent healthy now and ready to go."

Perron was a first-round pick in 2007 and is one of the team's best stickhandlers and skaters. He had five goals and two assists in 10 games last season, one of the goals coming after the concussion in the game against the Sharks.

Perron said he's gone much harder in practice the last month without any ill effects. He was cleared for contact three weeks ago.

"David's been through quite a bit," general manager Doug Armstrong said. "The one thing that never wavered was his passion to get back on the ice. I saw that over the summer and then when he rejoined our team."

Armstrong said coaches have tried to push Perron the last couple of weeks, introducing game-simulation drills. Recalling words from the summer, he said getting Perron back is "probably our best free-agent signing this year."

"We're certainly convinced that he's put the proper work in and he's gone through all the steps necessary to deem himself ready for competition," Armstrong said.

Perron has 53 goals and 131 points in 235 games with St Louis.