Rangers center Filip Chytil.

Rangers center Filip Chytil. Credit: Noah K. Murray

GREENBURGH — Filip Chytil, whom the Rangers shut down for the season on Jan. 28 after a setback as he tried to return from what almost certainly was a concussion, made a surprise return to practice on Friday, raising the possibility that the center can rejoin the team for the playoffs.

“When I got here in the morning, I didn’t know he was going to be on the ice, so it’s good to see him,’’ said forward Kaapo Kakko , Chytil’s former Kid Line linemate. “I think he was doing good out there. Looking like, back to normal.”

Chytil practiced in a regular white jersey, as opposed to a red non-contact jersey, and took part in all of the drills, including full-contact scrimmaging.

“It’s great to have him back out there,’’ coach Peter Laviolette said. “He looks like he had a lot of fun out there today.’’

Rangers policy does not allow injured players, including those on injured reserve or long-term injured reserve, to talk to the media, so Chytil, who is on LTIR, was not made available to discuss his injury, rehab or a potential return. But a person close to him said returning to practice was something he wanted to do.

Chytil is wearing a regular color jersey and taking part in full contact drills. #NYR pic.twitter.com/ofvkfTrfCi

— Colin Stephenson (@ColinSNewsday) April 12, 2024

Laviolette cautioned that there’s “no timetable’’ for Chytil to return to game action despite his being cleared to practice.

“He’s at a point where he’s been training; he’s now back and able to come back and join us,’’ Laviolette said. “We’re not going to rush him back. Whenever he feels and the eyes on him feel and the powers that be feel that he’s in a good spot, that’s a different story. But right now, there’s absolutely no timetable.’’

If and when Chytil can return to the lineup, he likely won’t step back into the second-line center role he was in when he got hurt by an inadvertent collision with Carolina Hurricanes forward Jesper Fast in November. Vincent Trocheck took over between Artemi Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere, and that line has played well all season, so Laviolette isn’t likely to break it up.

Alex Wennberg, acquired from Seattle at the trade deadline, has been good in the third-line center role, so Laviolette might not want to move him to accommodate Chytil, either. But if Chytil is able to play the wing, Laviolette could try him on the right side of the first line with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. Jack Roslovic, acquired at the deadline from Columbus, is in that spot now but hasn’t produced, and he was scratched for last Sunday’s game against Montreal.

Notes & quotes: After Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Flyers, Laviolette broke up defense pair Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller at Friday’s practice. Miller was partnered with Braden Schneider and Trouba was paired with Erik Gustafsson . . . Forward Matt Rempe took reps with Jimmy Vesey and Barclay Goodrow, suggesting he will be in the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Islanders . . . General manager Chris Drury has been named one of three assistant GMs for Team USA for the NHL 4 Nations Face-Off and the 2026 Olympic team.

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