SUNRISE – Slowly but surely, Josh Gorges is inching closer and closer to returning to active duty.
Sidelined for nearly a month now after taking a shot off his left hand on Mar. 1 against the Maple Leafs, Gorges can’t wait to see game action. While no date has been confirmed as of yet for his return, the fact that his rehab is going extremely well has him feeling confident that he’ll be back in the lineup soon.
“There’s still no set date, but I’d like to come back for the Chicago game [on April 9],” confided Gorges after the Canadiens’ 4-1 victory over the Panthers on Saturday night. “We’ll take it day by day. We have a goal in mind and it hasn’t changed from when I spoke about it the first time. I hope everything goes according to plan and that I could come back in the last week of the regular season.”
Skating on his own for the last 14 days, the 29-year-old defenseman is hoping to take his recovery process to another level over the next week by taking part in regular practices with the rest of his teammates. He accompanied the team to Florida for that very reason. Not only is Gorges looking to enjoy the Florida sun, but to restore his on-ice rhythm as quickly as possible.
“I’m hoping to get the green light from the doctors to start training with the guys this week. Tampa is a possibility,” offered Gorges, who hasn’t had his hand in a cast for at least the last three weeks. “I wanted to be here with them because I want to participate in as many practices as possible before taking part in a game. It’s not easy when you’re sidelined for such a long time to practice one time and then play a game right after that.”
Even if he feels that he’s made progress as of late, Gorges admits that he’s still not at the level he’d like to be at. Having not yet regained complete mobility in his left hand, he doesn’t want to take any chances when it comes to aggravating the injury and delaying his return even further.
“It’s one of those injuries where if the bone itself isn’t healed properly, there’s nothing I can do about it,” shared Gorges. “I just have to wait until it’s healed. As soon as it will be healed enough where I don’t think there will be cause for concern, I’ll be back."
Hugo Fontaine is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.
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