Quenneville hopeful Kane can return early

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Friday he remains hopeful that Patrick Kane can return sooner than originally expected after fracturing his clavicle last month.

Kane suffered the injury Feb. 24, had surgery the following day and was given a 12-week timetable to return. The Blackhawks would likely have to advance two playoff rounds for Kane to play again, based on the original timetable.

“I’ve always hoped that [he could return sooner],” Quenneville said after Friday’s morning skate. “We’ll see."

Kane recently began skating again, and Quenneville said Kane has felt good. As of now, Quenneville said the timetable was still the same.

“I think it’s still the same timetable, but how well he’s skating and how well he’s doing, I think he feels real good about where he’s at,” Quenneville said. “It’s just a matter of when he gets that green light is probably going to be the hurdle. But we like his approach, and he’s doing a lot of things out there that he wants to do or is able to do. That’s a good sign.”

Quenneville said he would be involved in the decision when Kane returns to play, but the medical staff had to first clear him.

“Absolutely, the first hurdle is you got to be comfortable with the doctors,” Quenneville said. “From there, we’ll make decisions after. … I think we’re all in that collectively, but the doctors have the absolute say on that.”

Kane was tied for the league lead in points prior at the time of his injury. He still leads the Blackhawks with 27 goals and 37 assists. The Blackhawks have gone 8-3-1 with Kane out of the lineup.