Ottawa Senators head coach Guy Boucher said that defenceman Erik Karlsson could be back as soon as Tuesday when the Sens take on the Vancouver Canucks at Canadian Tire Centre.
But Boucher did say he expects Karlsson to play next week.
The 27-year-old is still recovering from off-season ankle surgery that included having part of the bone removed.
Karlsson played all 19 playoff games for Ottawa in the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs despite having a foot injury and led the team to a Conference Finals berth.
He has 456 points in 556 career games and has led the NHL in scoring by a defenceman in three of the last four years.
The Senators are 1-0-3 to start the season.