Blackhawks forward Taylor Hall close to returning from shoulder injury

Chicago Blackhawks' Ryan Donato (8) celebrates his goal with Connor Bedard (98) and Taylor Hall (71) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

CHICAGO (AP) — Taylor Hall is almost back. And he's feeling much better this time.

Hall practiced with the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday and could return to the lineup this weekend. The forward is on injured reserve with a left shoulder injury.

Chicago hosts Florida on Saturday and New Jersey on Sunday.

“I felt good today. I just have to talk to the medical staff and see what we want to do,” Hall said. “There's a good chance that I'm in tomorrow, but I could also not play. I just got to see how they're feeling and give them my thoughts on how I felt today."

Defenseman Alex Vlasic also skated on Friday. He was placed in the concussion protocol after absorbing a big hit during a 4-3 overtime win at Vegas last week.

“He's probably going to have to take one more step tomorrow and be a possibility on Sunday,” coach Luke Richardson said of Vlasic.

Hall, the first overall pick in the 2010 draft, has no goals and two assists in five games with Chicago. He was acquired in a June trade with Boston.

Hall, who turns 32 this month, originally hurt his shoulder in a 3-1 loss at the Bruins on Oct. 11. After Richardson said he was week to week, Hall missed one game before returning to the lineup.

He was placed on IR on Oct. 24.

“It feels a lot better than I did then,” he said. “I just thought that at that moment that the shoulder would just get better day by day and it didn't. It just probably needed some time. ... Just being on a new team and trying to do your best for the guys in here, but I probably could have used an extra couple games off and I wouldn't be in this spot now.”