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Coyotes assign center Christian Dvorak to Tucson for conditioning

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot (33) makes a save on a shot by Arizona Coyotes center Christian Dvorak (18) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Coyotes announced Sunday they had assigned center Christian Dvorak to the Tucson Roadrunners for a conditioning stint as he recovers from injury.

Dvorak has not played a game in the 2018-19 NHL season but has been recently skating with the Coyotes in practice. He suffered a lower-body injury that delayed his start to the season, and as he recovered from that, he tore his pectoral muscle.

General manager John Chayka said at the time that it was “not out of the question” that the injury could cost Dvorak his whole season. But with 24 games remaining, it would appear that the 23-year-old is nearing return.

It wasn’t publicly announced how long the conditioning stint will last, but the NHL collective bargaining agreement stipulates that conditioning loans can not last longer than two weeks.

In two seasons of NHL experience, Dvorak has put up 15 goals in each campaign with 33 and 37 points in 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively.

The Coyotes have been decimated with injuries this year, particularly at the center position, so Dvorak’s return would surely be a welcome one. He’ll join a center group that on Saturday night consisted of Nick Cousins, Derek Stepan, Brad Richardson and Jordan Weal.

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