Sergei Gonchar is expected to return to the Montreal Canadiens lineup at some point next week, head coach Michel Therrien told reporters Thursday.
With Alexei Emelin out for an extended period of time, Gonchar's return is critical and could prevent a knee-jerk reaction through trade, but does leave the Canadiens deficient in the short-term.
P.K. Subban, who has seen a significant minutes increase of late, was also hobbled in Wednesday's loss to the Ottawa Senators, though he isn't expected to miss any time.
Jarred Tinordi was called up to offset Emelin's loss and will play Thursday versus the Florida Panthers.