The comeback is complete.
That was the story on Thursday as reports confirmed Erik Karlsson would return to the Senators lineup on Thursday to take on the Capitals in Washington.
The return comes 71 days after Ottawa GM Bryan Murray said the 22-year-old’s season was done.
On Feb. 13, Karlsson was cut by Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke’s skate, which resulted in a 70 percent laceration of his Achilles tendon.
The injury was supposed to sideline the reigning Norris winner for 3-4 months, essentially ruling out any chance of a return for the regular season and/or playoffs.
Apparently Karlsson didn’t get the memo.
He resumed skating three weeks ago — a stunning recovery in its own right — and will get back into the lineup after missing just 31 games.
It looks as though Karlsson will resume all usual activity as well. He was paired with regular defense partner Marc Methot during the pregame skate, and worked on the power play alongside Sergei Gonchar.
His return couldn’t come at a better time.
The Sens are in the midst of a two-game losing streak and need a victory to secure a playoff spot for the second consecutive season.
What’s more, the team has struggled to score goals of late — just two scored in losses to the Leafs and Penguins — and could certainly use Karlsson’s offense. He had 10 points through the first 14 games of the year and still leads all Sens defensemen in goals, with six.
Update: Here’s confirmation from Karlsson himself, via Twitter…
— Erik Karlsson (@ErikKarlsson65) April 25, 2013