Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson continued his remarkable recovery from a sliced Achilles tendon on Friday, getting cleared for contact and fully practicing with teammates for the first time since the injury.
What’s more, his return to game action sounds closer than ever.
Sens GM Bryan Murray said Karlsson is ‘100 percent’ and his return is contingent upon getting back into game shape.
The 22-year-old blueliner has been out of action since his left Achilles was sliced by Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke on Feb. 14.
The cut resulted in a 70 percent laceration, an injury that required immediate surgery and prematurely ended Karlsson’s campaign.
Or so it was said at the time.
To give you an idea of how Karlsson looked in his first full practice, here’s Sportsnet’s Shannon Proudfoot from today’s practice:
Karlsson carving so aggressively, there was momentary confusion in the press corps about whether it was his right or left leg injured. #Sens
— Shannon Proudfoot (@sproudfoot) April 19, 2013
The Senators play Saturday at home against Toronto, and it’s doubtful Karlsson will be made available given he hasn’t played a game in over two months.
Monday, though, could be another story.
Ottawa will host Pittsburgh that night — you know, Cooke’s team — in what would be a dramatic return for the reigning Norris Trophy winner.