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Versteeg set to make preseason debut Thursday

Wednesday, 09.25.2013 / 7:10 PM

By Staff -  / Training Camp 2013 blog

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Training Camp 2013 blog
Versteeg set to make preseason debut Thursday

Florida Panthers forward Kris Versteeg has been medically cleared to return to game action for the first time since tearing his ACL in March.

He rehabbed extensively during the summer.

"I've talked to a lot of guys who have had it done like [Tomas] Kopecky and [Scottie] Upshall, you just trust their opinion, more so you got to trust your doctor, trust your surgeon what he did to you is going to make you better first, and understand that and go through your physical therapy," Versteeg told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. "The staff here in Florida did a tremendous job with me the first two months, then I went home [to Lethrbridge, Alberta] and worked with a guy named Tim back home and my own trainer and they got me to where I am today."

Versteeg was third on the Panthers with 54 points in 2011-12, helping Florida win the Southeast Division title and make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2000. He tore up his knee against Tampa Bay on March 12 and underwent surgery. He's scheduled to play Thursday night against the Lightning.

The Panthers need him to help rebound from a 2012-13 season that saw them finish last in the overall standings.

"It's definitely a lot of commitment," Versteeg told the paper. "I'm excited to what I can do this year."

Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau is also expected to make his preseason debut for the Panthers on Thursday.

Quote of the Day

I've got a lot of experience and there's a lot of young guys. It's even making me excited a little more. It's kind of a new life. At my age, I feel like I know a lot of things what to do, but I just cannot do it anymore. It's a lot easier to tell them what to do because they've still got the legs and hands to do it. I just know things, but I cannot do them anymore.

— Jaromir Jagr after making his Panthers debut in a win against the Sabres on Saturday
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