How about some good news?
This season has seemingly been full of nothing but bad updates on the injury front. The Blue Jackets have scrapped their way into the playoff picture – before the NHL's pause due to COVID-19 – with as many as 10 regulars out of their projected opening night lineup.
In the weeks before the pause, Columbus dealt with two big blows as both Seth Jones and Oliver Bjorkstrand went down with ankle injuries. Those were estimated at 8-to-10 week recoveries, likely meaning their regular seasons were over, and possibly beyond if the Blue Jackets didn't make the playoffs.
While no one knows when the NHL will return to its schedule (or how the league will sort through its convoluted playoff scenarios), there may be something to look forward to for the Blue Jackets when it does.
Alexandre Texier suffered a lumbar stress fracture on New Year's Eve against the Florida Panthers and has been sidelined since. He posted to his Instagram Story earlier this week that he'd resumed skating, as Jones did a few days earlier.
During his weekly appearance on 97.1 The Fan with Anthony Rothman and Bobby Carpenter, Tortorella acknowledged Texier's encouraging step forward and said there may be more coming.
"What a tough year for Tex. A young kid coming across the pond by himself, single...and really, (with) the injury he had, he could do nothing for months," Tortorella said. "(The medical staff) didn't want him moving. This is a big part of our future, this kid. He's gonna be able to play. I really do want to give him a chance at center ice. He's a big part of the future of this team."
Bjorkstrand may be next to return to skating and the team is "keeping an eye on" him, Tortorella said. But he also cautioned that hockey's return is further out than it is close.
"Who knows? When we start, we might have a healthy lineup," Tortorella said.