Cleary revealed the the front of his jaw is numb and could remain that way for a long, long time. Had he chosen the other procedure -- where his jaw would have been wired shut for six weeks instead of two and he would have missed the rest of the season -- he wouldn't have that numbness. That's a pretty big sacrifice to return to the ice.
Cleary will skate on a line with Johan Franzen and Jiri Hudler. Tomas Kopecky has been moved to the third line with Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby with the fourth line likely being Mark Hartigan, Aaron Downey and Dallas Drake.
Bad news elsewhere on injuries.
Valtteri Filppula (groin) left practice at the beginning and won't play Tuesday. Friday is unlikely for his return as well.
Tomas Holmstrom (abdomen) made it through most of practice, but left early and angry. he's out for tomorrow and might not be back this weekend either.
The only grey sweater (injured player) who made it through practice was Darren McCarty (ribs). Afterwards, McCarty said that he sees no reason why Friday's home game couldn't be his return date.
Dominik Hasek has the flu and missed practice. He won't travel with the team to St. Louis. That means Chris Osgood gets the start tomorrow and Jimmy Howard will be called up as the back-up.