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GOTTA SEE IT: Gabriel Landeskog Hits The Ice For First Time Since Knee Surgery (UPDATED)



Avalanche Landeskog

An optional practice for the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday brought massive news.

Gabriel Landeskog is back on the ice.

As far as we know, this is Landeskog’s first time skating since having cartilage transplant surgery back on May 10. His recovery has gone well, and back in December, he arrived back in Denver after spending most of his time in Toronto rehabbing. The Captain has been around the team for a few weeks now and was at morning skate yesterday cheering the team on ahead of their game against the Vegas Golden Knights.

If you are having deja vu, you are not alone. Landeskog returned to the ice on Feb. 20 of last year, but was unable to make a comeback. Obviously, you aren’t expecting a lot on the first day of skating, and as you can tell from the video, he’s not moving very quickly, but you have to start somewhere. This is uncharted territory in the NHL with this surgery, so this is just step one for any potential return to the Avalanche for Landeskog. The organization doesn’t want any setbacks in his recovery, so they’ll take things slowly as the days and weeks go on.

After practice, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar talked about Landeskog’s return to the ice, which he confirmed is the first time he’s skated since the surgery.

“This has been part of the plan for quite some time,” Bednar said. “The next step in his process, to start getting on the ice. I’m assuming, and I don’t know for certain, it’s not going to be every day on the ice kind of thing. He’ll mix that into his rehab work, and his gym work until eventually, he’s hitting the ice every day. I think the biggest part of that is (it) probably feels great for him. I’m sure for him, this has been a long road. To now get to be able to get back on the ice and do some things, that’s sort of a refreshing step in his process to return.”

There was no real clear plan on what the process was for Landeskog to get back into the lineup, and according to Bednar, he would consider Landeskog’s recovery process to be “on time.” Coach, however, said that this year feels a little different compared to Landeskog’s attempt to return last season.

“I think it’s different because he’s gone through the surgery and he’s got repaired,” Bednar said. “There was probably a little bit more uncertainty last year. You’re going to try and avoid a major surgery like that at all costs, so the first step was to do everything you can possibly do, and try to return to skate. It made great progress, but it just plateaued at a certain level that wasn’t good enough to be able to come back and play. Short term or long term, so the next step was the surgery that he decided to have. There’s more optimism this time around because he’s been surgically repaired.”

Landeskog will not travel with the team for now. He’ll stay back and rehab because that’s just easier for him right now.

The Avalanche would love to get Landeskog back for the playoffs, but we’re a long ways from that. Stay tuned to CHN for more news as this develops.

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