Stone’s recovery coincides with an important offseason for the blue line.

The Coyotes currently have only Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Zbynek Michalek under contract for next season with Stone among five restricted free agents the team will have to evaluate.

A reunion seems inevitable considering the niche Stone has carved as a two-way presence.

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He logs heavy minutes, working both sides of special teams, and helps ignite offense with a booming shot.

But the team might have to increase its options if Stone is unable to return for the start of the season – mind you, the unit might be poised to receive outside help via trade or free agency anyway, after posting the third-highest goals-against average (2.98).

“They’ll probably get a little better read on his progress as you start to get into July and August,” coach Dave Tippett said. “You’ll have an evaluation if it’s on track or behind.”

Stone figures he’ll have to wear a knee brace when he does get back on the ice, but he isn’t concerned about not being at full strength.

“From everything that I hear, there’s a pretty good success rate,” he said.

That has to be encouraging for the Coyotes, who watched Stone record career-highs in assists (30), points (36) and shots (161) before his injury.

“I was feeling confident in the way I was playing,” Stone said. “I was feeling confident in some of the stuff I was doing offensively again. I was feeling like I was back to just playing hockey, not thinking about anything, just playing hockey. So hopefully that can continue.”