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Blues defenceman Erik Johnson to begin rehab stint, Backes also hurt

ST. LOUIS - Blues rookie defenceman Erik Johnson will begin rehabilitating his injured right foot in a stint with St. Louis' top minor league squad, the team said Monday.

Another young player, forward David Backes, will be sidelined four weeks with a ligament injury in his left knee.

Johnson, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2006 draft, has missed 10 games with a hairline fracture in the foot. He will make his first appearance Tuesday for Peoria of the American Hockey League.

The 19-year-old Johnson is expected to return for practice with the Blues on Wednesday, and could play Friday against Chicago.

In three games for St. Louis this season, Johnson, has one goal and one assist.

An MRI on Monday revealed the injury to Backes who has a goal and two assists in seven games. He was a second-round pick in 2003 and is in his second season with the Blues.

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