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Alexey Toropchenko could be returning much sooner than expected

He’s been participating in full-contact practice.

Colorado Avalanche v St Louis Blues - Game Six Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

When the Blues announced their season roster - and after they recalled Jake Neighbours and Josh Leivo to wrap up the procedure to get Marco Scandella and Scott Perunovich onto LTIR - Alexey Toropchenko was on it but assumed to be a ways away from returning.

Scratch that assumption.

Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch threw what water was left onto any lingering doubts regarding Toropchenko’s return in an interview with Craig Berube. Toropchenko was a full participant in some pretty rough and tumble practice while the team was on their team building trip this past week in Charleston.

So, when will he be back?

“I don’t know,” coach Craig Berube said Wednesday. “He’s got to see doctors and stuff yet. I can’t answer that question yet. Kind of got to wait.”

Berube said it’s up to the organization and medical officials to give Toropchenko final clearance to play.

“Then when it gets cleared, I can make the call (on playing him),” Berube said. “So we’re not there yet.”

That means there’s no locked in date for Toropchenko’s return - and clearly, it won’t be on Saturday night - but it’ll be sooner than early December as was expected. Toropchenko was clearly headed to an early comeback during the Blues’ training camp.

An early return from surgery isn’t a bad thing. Two months early is something very unusual. Whatever physical therapy Toropchenko has been doing has clearly been fantastic.