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Ott Improving, Hopes to Return Soon

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS - Steve Ott admits that the hamstring injury he sustained in December might be the worst thing he’s experienced in his career.

“There’s not even a close second,” Ott said Friday. “To have something repaired the way they pulled your hamstring back up, re-attached it and then sitting on your butt for the first six weeks, not be able to do anything to let it heal, then the amount of rehab to get it going… it’s an up early, leave late kind-of-thing. But all of us would do it. You want to play in the League, and for myself, I think I’ve got a lot left in me and I'm starting to feel good.”

Ott has been working through rehab skates with Head Medical Trainer Ray Barile and Friday, graduated to practicing with the team again. It was a huge first step to getting back, and Ott’s teammates were excited to see him out there.

“It’s a lot louder on the ice with Otter out here. He can’t keep his mouth shut, he’s always yapping,” captain David Backes joked. “He brings another level of energy to the group and you just love to see him back on the ice from how horrific that injury was, to hoping he can get a nod to go in short order. That’s encouraging.”

“It’s really good news, obviously,” Blues forward Patrik Berglund said. “We’ve been waiting for him to get on the ice, he’s such a good teammate and funny guy to have around.”

Ott, who was to be re-evaluated three months from the December surgery, said the injury is the first of it’s kind in hockey, and he feels sorry for anyone that might sustain a similar injury. He also said there’s no timetable yet for a return, saying that it would be a collective decision between the coaches, trainers and everyone involved in helping him rehab the injury.

“Once I had that surgery, unlike some other ones, I was kinda worried or scared,” Ott said. “But I really had a goal to beat this thing right away, and it’s never wavered from my mind. I was so driven, not only for myself, but the team we have in here. When you know you have a playoff-contending team, you want to be part of it. The guys have played extremely well and if I can go in later on and the boys need me, I’m going to be ready and anxious and full of energy.”

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