ATLANTA -- Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said it in his code, but it was a "yes": Marian Hossa should be back in the lineup Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center.
"I'm going to say I'm optimistic he's playing," Quenneville said Saturday after the Hawks defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 5-4 in a shootout.
Hossa has missed the last five games with an undisclosed upper-body injury. He was hurt Oct. 27 against the Los Angeles Kings when he collided with Jarret Stoll and fell to the ice.
The injury was never believed to be serious. Hossa has skated multiple times since getting hurt.
Hossa was one of the hottest players in the NHL before his injury. He had seven goals and 11 points in 11 games with a plus-4.
Rookie Jeremy Morin's status is up in the air for Sunday after he left Saturday's game in Atlanta after blocking a hard shot from defenseman Johnny Oduya. But Hossa is expected to join Patrick Sharp back on the second line. Morin played with Sharp Saturday.