Less than two months after cutting his Achilles tendon, Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson was back on the ice Monday morning.
Karlsson skated at the Bell Sensplex with skating coach Marc Power, and while it wasn't the first time he's been on the ice since the injury, it was his most rigorous workout.
"If Erik is skating, that's probably another step in the process of rehab," Senators head coach Paul MacLean said. "It's exciting news."
Karlsson hasn't played since sustaining a tear of the Achilles' tendon in his left leg when he was stepped on by Pittsburgh Penguins' Matt Cooke during a game Feb. 13.
The 2012 Norris Trophy winner underwent surgery to repair the cut, and was expected to miss three-to-four months.
"We've got to make sure we don't get too carried away here but let's start doing the math. He was injured on February 13 and underwent surgery the next day with a 70 per cent sever of his achilles tendon that they said would be three-to-four months," said TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie on That's Hockey. "Well, as of Thursday, that will be the eight-week mark, or effectively two months. If you fast forward another month, that would put you in the middle of the first round of the playoffs. That's three months, the best-case scenario from the get-go.
"Is there a chance we could see Karlsson in the playoffs? If everything fell into place, that could conceivably happen. But keep in mind, Kevin Bieksa of the Vancouver Canucks had the same injury with a 90 per cent sever and it took him three months and 22 days to come back. And he admitted when he got back, he didn't feel right for another full year after that. I think what happened today was that, while no one is rushing him, Karlsson is trying to gauge where he's at and he probably has a better idea today how far along he is."
He had 10 points in 14 games at the time of the injury, and was averaging 27:03 of ice time per game.