On Tuesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced the team had activated defenseman Zach Werenski from injured reserve.
Werenski, who injured his shoulder in a Nov. 30 game against the New York Islanders, was originally expected to miss four weeks of action. The team originally placed him on IR on Dec. 6, but it appears the 22-year-old will return for Columbus' road game Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings.
Werenski's injury was caused when he collided with New York Islanders forward Anders Lee near the Columbus goal in the first period.
The Islanders forward's backside appeared to make significant contact with Werenski's left shoulder — he was shown favoring it immediately after the play.
The blueliner briefly went to the ice before skating off under his own power to the Blue Jackets locker room.
Werenski looks to be favoring left shoulder pic.twitter.com/afh8oesiak— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) December 1, 2019
The team confirmed Werenski sustained an upper-body injury on the play and announced he would not return during the first intermission. Head coach John Tortorella reportedly did not have an update on the defenseman's condition after the game, but it's now known the blueliner will miss at least four weeks.
Werenski is one of Columbus' top skaters and logs significant minutes for the team each night (23:33 minutes-per-game). A four-week return timetable could have ruled him out for all 14 of his team's games in December, but his earlier return marks an encouraging sign for the Blue Jackets, who currently sit six points out of the playoff picture (32 points through Dec. 16).
Prior to his injury, Werenski had scored six goals and 10 assists in 25 games in 2019-20.