Handzus' return 'going to take time'

CHICAGO – The timetable for Chicago Blackhawks forward Michal Handzus' return from injury has been extended to at least a few more weeks, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said on Wednesday.

Handzus has been out of the Blackhawks lineup since Oct. 24 due to an upper-body injury. Quenneville said on Friday that Handzus had been skating hard by himself and was “still a bit away” from practicing with the team, but Quenneville said on Wednesday that Handzus hadn’t been able to skate for the last two days.

“It’s going to take time,” Quenneville said of Handzus' return.

The 36-year-old Handzus played through a broken wrist and torn MCL during the Stanley Cup finals last season. He underwent surgery to repair both areas in the offseason. He missed all six of the team’s preseason games this season to continue rehab. He had been playing second-line center and had one goal and two assists while averaging 13:18 of ice time in nine games this season.

The Blackhawks acquired Handzus in a trade with the San Jose Sharks near the trade deadline last season. He had one goal and five assists in 11 regular-season games with the Blackhawks and three goals and eight assists in 23 games in the playoffs. He signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks in July.

Quenneville also said defenseman Michael Kostka and forward Brad Mills were expected to still be out for a while. Mills hasn’t played since Oct. 29 due to a lower-body injury, and Kostka hasn’t played since Oct. 19 due a lower-body injury. Quenneville said Kostka no longer required a walking boot and was getting better.

“He’s probably getting closer to get in to skate, but he’s still not there,” Quenneville said.

Quenneville said he might consider calling up another player from the AHL with the Blackhawks having only 19 healthy forwards and defensemen on the roster heading into a seven-game road trip beginning next week.

“We’ll see,” Quenneville said. “I know we’ll talk about that after the weekend. Whether we bring up or another guy or not on a need basis on the trip, those are the options, but we haven’t really talked about it yet.”