Colorado Avalanche netminder Semyon Varlamov is on track to return to action next season following multiple hip surgeries.
"I'm definitely feeling better right now. It's been months after the first surgery and then six weeks after the second one. So I feel good," Varlamov said on Thursday. "I'm really positive about this surgery, how the doctors take care of me, how everything is done. Right now it's just a lot of rehab. Rehab is going very well. I'm sure the problem is behind me, and I'm looking forward to getting a fresh start in September. I'm going to be ready, for sure."
The Samara, Russia, native was out of the lineup three different times with groin injuries before he was shut down for the season at the end of January. After that, he elected to undergo hip surgery in order to alleviate the stress on his groin.
Since the day he had the first procedure, Varlamov has been going through physical therapy for his lower body. He's slated to resume skating later this month.
Video: Semyon Varlamov on his recovery
"Well, right now there's lots of rehab going on. I do physical therapy every morning--all kinds of stuff to prepare myself for next season. So lots of work with my trainers and doctors," the 28-year-old said. "We're planning to go on the ice at the end of this month, just with the skates on. I don't know exactly when I get to skate with the full gear, probably end of May, beginning of June."
That timeline was later confirmed by Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar.
"He's laying out a plan for his summer right now, and he'll be here for quite some time," Bednar said. "He's going to be back in Colorado training for the latter part of the summer."
That timeline rules out any chance of Varlamov representing his country at the 2017 World Championship next month in Paris, France, and Cologne, Germany.
"I don't think I'm going to be ready because recovery is three months," the goalie said. "Then I'd have to be ready by the time the tournament starts because the tournament starts in the beginning of May."
Just like with everyone on the Avs, the 2016-17 campaign has left a bitter taste in Varlamov's mouth. He only played 24 games before his injuries waylaid his season, so he's focusing on a complete and dominating return next year.
"You know, it was a really frustrating season, I'm sure for all of us on our team and especially for me. I didn't want to finish the season in the middle," said Varlamov. "It's been a long year, but I'm trying to stay positive every day. Next year it's going to be definitely better than this one, you know. Right now it's about--well everything is about recovery. Recovery is going well, like I said. I'm going to be ready to go in September.
"We're going to do lots of work in the summer time, for sure. Everybody will get better next year. We just want to get back to where we were at three years ago. We want to be in the playoffs. We want to win the Stanley Cup one day."