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Brayden Point hopefully day-to-day after All-Star Game

On ice for the first time since December 28, Point is nearing a return to the lineup.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

According to Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper in comments before last week's game against the Panthers, Brayden Point will "literally" be considered day-to-day after the All-Star break. The upcoming schedule pits Tampa against divisional rivals Boston and Ottawa, and Cooper expects Point to return for one of these.

In Cooper's words: "Literally day-to-day after the All-Star break. What have we got, Boston, Ottawa. We're hoping he gets to come back in one of those games. But until he gets final clearance after the break, I can't say yet."

Point had an excellent rookie season until his injury, which occurred on December 28 against the Montreal Canadiens. He scored three goals and twelve assists in 36 games played, surprising many by sticking around in the lineup immediately out of camp. His injury came after a shot from a teammate impacted his hand. Although he returned to finish the game after a brief absense from the bench, it was later reported that his hand was fractured.

During morning skate before the Panthers game, Point appeared in a red no-contact jersey, taking face-offs and skating in shooting drills. According to Erik Erlendsson of Lightning Insider, Point found it difficult to miss this many NHL games, 14 so far. While out, Point told Erlendsson, he got a chance to watch the game from higher above the ice, and studied the play strategy of the veterans on the team.

In an article deleted from the Tampa Bay Times but archived at the fxtribune, Point told Joe Smith, "Every day you try to do a little more. I'm shooting and taking some light faceoffs, and it's feeling fine. Hopefully it keeps progressing."