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McDonagh "Doubtful" for Game Three, Practiced With Team Today

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The captain may be nearing a return.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh, who has missed the first two games of the team's playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, might be nearing a return to the lineup.

This news comes shortly after the Rangers announced that Raphael Diaz was recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack and will be joining the team as either the seventh defenseman or, more likely, to come into the lineup at the expense of young, bruising defender Dylan McIlrath.

McDonagh practiced with the team today in a full contact jersey and reportedly was on the ice for the entire practice. Yesterday he was described as "day-to-day" by head coach Alain Vigneault after suffering an injury to his hand on April 4th in the team's 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It goes without saying that McDonagh's return to the lineup would be a big boost to a Rangers' defense group that has been comprised of McIlrath, Marc Staal, rookie Brady Skjei, Kevin Klein, Keith Yandle, and veteran Dan Boyle thus far in the 2016 NHL Playoffs. If McDonagh isn't in the lineup tomorrow, we should expect him in Game Four at the Garden or Game Five in Pittsburgh.

We'll keep you posted as news develops on this story.