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Gaustad close to return from injury

Predators center Paul Gaustad has missed the last three-plus games due to an upper-body injury and won’t be in the lineup tonight against the Dallas Stars. However, he skated with the team this morning for the first time since the injury and is inching closer to a return.

“It’s feeling better every day,” Gaustad said of his injury, which is related to the one he suffered earlier this season when he missed three games. “Last time we managed it really well and this time we’re doing the same thing. Just need to make sure I’m healthy for the rest of the year.”

He continued, “It’s tough to watch games but I try to make the best out of it as much as I can.”

Head coach Barry Trotz mentioned that Gaustad is “looking more probable” for Wednesday night’s game in Anaheim.

While meeting with the media this morning, Gaustad was in a hurry to get into a penalty kill meeting with the rest of the team. For an injured player, that may normally mean he’s playing that night or getting closer. However, Gaustad said he’s been participating in the meetings while he has been sidelined for the last week.

“I want to stay sharp and make sure I’m prepared for when I play these guys again,” he said.

Gaustad has three points and has won 62.9 percent of his faceoffs in 13 games this season.

Meanwhile, defenseman Hal Gill suffered a lower-body injury Saturday in Detroit and will also be out of the lineup tonight against Dallas.

“He will probably skate tomorrow to see where he’s at,” Trotz said. “I would say he’s out for obviously tonight and probable for Anaheim, being out.”

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