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Will Jaden Schwartz return before the All-Star Game?

The injured forward participated in practice on Sunday.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Blues had an awful game on Saturday night (a 5-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, the worst team in the NHL), so they had a hard practice today. It’s fair.

Out on the ice with a team that has been underperforming for the last six weeks was a forward whose absence, probably, has a lot to do with that underperformance: Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz has progressed enough to be a full practice participant, which has led to some speculation that he may be returning to action this week.

“No easing him into it,” Yeo said. “He got the conditioning and he got the battle part of it and actually, he got through it, got through it well.”

Yeo was coy about Schwartz returning on Tuesday, though the timetable looks good for a return before the All-Star Game. Rushing a player back from injury is never a good idea (see: Fabbri, Robby), and sitting out the rest of the week wouldn’t hurt Schwartz.

The bad thing is, it could hurt the Blues.

The Blues are clinging to third in the Central Division by a point, and any more shitty hockey like fans were treated to last night could mean a dip out of a playoff position. Every point is key during the season’s second half, and the Blues have a significant amount of points to make up when Schwartz returns. It’s obvious that this isn’t the same team without him - this isn’t their first bad hockey rodeo when he’s been injured - and the team needs him to return.

They also need him to be healthy for the rest of the season. Schwartz sitting out until after the All-Star break is better than him getting hurt again in late March.

Mike Yeo and the team are in a pickle, and they’ll make the best decision possible for the team and the player. Here’s hoping that it works out.