Ottawa Senators Bobby Ryan forward said Friday that he has been dealing with an alcohol problem, but is doing "very well" on his road to recovery.

Ryan met with the media for the first time since last November when the Senators announced he had entered the NHL/NHLPA assistance program for an undisclosed reason.

"I'm doing great," Ryan said. "I've been back since December in some capacity and what that capacity is gets gradually updated, but I'm doing very, very well.

"It's been trying at times, but everyone's been very supportive. My recovery has been a process and a learning thing for me for sure, but I've come a long way and just continuing to get better with it each day."

He said he tried fighting his alcohol problem on his own before deciding he needed more help.

"It's something I've been battling for a while," Ryan said. "I've tried on my own and I was already getting help for it. What I was doing wasn't enough.

"I was trying the white knuckle thing and do things the wrong way. I'd have 20 days of nothing and one real bad one and you just can't get better without (help). There's such a stigma around asking for help and I was trying to do it.

"I guess for me, I guess you could call it a panic attack, but it was more a realization that the route that I was going had no good end in sight and that’s not just professionally, that’s personally. I didn't want to continue to do that."

Ryan said he feels better than he has in a long time, but talking publicly about his battle with alcohol was something he has been dreading through the recovery period.

The 32-year-old last played in a Senators game Nov. 16 against Buffalo.

He said he feels physically fit and the Senators say they expect him back in the lineup shortly.

Ryan has one goal and four points in 16 games this season.