Rangers getting closer to 100 percent
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The month of December brought the injury bug to the New York Rangers, and as it ends they are getting closer to being 100 percent healthy.

Dom Renna

The New York Rangers are getting closer to being completely healthy as Kevin Shattenkirk, Jesper Fast, Cody McLeod could all return Saturday against Nashville.

Shattenkirk has been out since Dec. 11 after suffering a shoulder separation against Tampa Bay. His original time frame was two-to-four weeks and it appears that things are progressing well for the 29-year-old.

In his short time with the Blueshirts, Shattenkirk has been a shell of the player he was in St. Louis thanks partly due to injuries. He and the Rangers hope he can return to form and be the offensive type defenseman they thought they were getting when he signed two summers ago.

Fast had missed the last five games after suffering an undisclosed upper-body injury. He too had a time frame of two-to-four weeks but, looks to be getting closer and closer by the minute.

The 27-year-old has been an important part of the equation for head coach David Quinn who has used him all throughout his lineup in the top-six or bottom six. Fast got off to a solid start this season but had cooled off scoring five points in his last 15 games.

New York returns to action Thursday night when they take on the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden. They enter play on a four-game winning streak, entering the night 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.

Tony DeAngelo is expected to be a healthy scratch as Quinn will likely go with the same lineup he used in the Rangers 3-2 shootout loss to the Flyers right before the Christmas break.

Puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7 PM and can be seen on MSG Networks.

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Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.