ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Blues winger T.J. Oshie participated in practice Monday at Scottrade Center and believes he is inching closer to a return to the lineup.
"We're getting a little bit better every day and learning where we can push it and when we've got to back off a little bit," said Oshie, who has been learning to skate with a thin shot-blocker pad over his skate boot to protect his injured foot. "I'd say today was probably the best day I've had yet, so we've got to see how I feel a couple hours from now and tomorrow morning and just go from there.
"I definitely want to get in there and score some goals and create some havoc."
Oshie has been out since March 28, missing eight games while the offensively-starved Blues could use some of his scoring and energy.
He has seven goals and 20 points in 30 games.
"He was better today, today was his best day," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He's literally day-to-day now, so we'll see how he is in the morning and see how he feels."
Oshie and injured Blues center Scott Nichol both wore green jerseys as extra players Monday but were able to participate in the entire practice.
Oshie said learning to deal with the protective device on his skate and finding enough flexibility are the main issues now.
"If this is playoffs Game 7, I'm going no matter what," he said. "It could be broken and I'm still going. But we'll see. I don't want to get ahead of myself, I did that right when it happened. I thought it was going to be a couple days and it's been a couple weeks now."
Oshie believes his return is close.
"Most of the time it's been an issue of the strength of where I got hurt and the boot of my skate," Oshie said. "Now the strength's starting to come back to me, so it's just a matter of getting all the pads in the right position and getting the right protection on it.
"I think we're close, but we don't want to get ahead of ourselves."
Oshie can't stand sitting while his teammates are playing.
"You want to be out there, but you're still excited for the guys and happy they're doing well (when they're winning)," he said. "You lose a couple in a row and you're sitting up in the stands knowing that you could do something to maybe help out a little bit.
"It's tough. I think I've got to find that line where I want to be out there and I want to help the team, but then again I don't want to hurt myself and then be out of the playoffs and hurt the team worse."
Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak (lower body injury) and veteran winger Jamie Langenbrunner, thought to be out all season with a hip injury, also were on the ice following the team's practice at Scottrade Center.