The King is back.
Henrik Lundqvist, who suffered a vascular injury when he was struck in the throat by a deflected shot on Jan. 31, has been medically cleared to return to practice with the team, the Rangers announced Tuesday afternoon.
Lundqvist, who has been practicing on ice and undergoing conditioning drills almost daily with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire, still has taken nothing but low shots.
That will change, presumably as soon as Friday.
The Rangers have no morning skate before hosting the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday and are scheduled to be off Thursday. They will practice Friday in Greenburgh before flying to Carolina for Saturday's game with the Hurricanes.
Coach Alain Vigneault has said that Lundqvist was progressing well but would need a couple full practices before playing. So it is possible that he could play sometime next week, when the Blueshirts have home games against the Kings and Capitals and road games against the Senators and Bruins.
Lundqvist last played in a 6-3 win over the Panthers on Feb. 2 and missed the next 20 games. He was 16-4-0 with a 1.82 GAA and .938 save percentage in his last 20 games before the injury. He is 25-11-3 overall with a 2.25 GAA, a .922 save percentage and five shutouts.