McDonagh (lower body) participated in contact drills Wednesday but won't play against the Canadiens on Thursday, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.

Head coach Jon Cooper relayed that he believes McDonagh is even stronger than he was before sustaining a lower-body injury Feb. 6 against the Penguins. It's possible and perhaps likely that he'll be ready to return during the team's back-to-back this weekend, starting Saturday against the Bruins. He'll need to be lifted from IR first, but once he's cleared to go, he'll likely bump either Braydon Coburn or Zach Bogosian from the lineup.

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