CALGARY, AB -- Admittedly, it is status quo for Mark Giordano.
Yes, the veteran blueliner has been skating with the team for a portion of the postseason. Yes, he was ramped up to being able to participate in full practices. Yes, he is still considered long-term when it comes to being cleared to play.
But on Thursday, he took part in the longest practice the Flames have held in quite some time and was pleased with taking another small step in his recovery.
"It's still pretty early with this type of injury so we got to be smart about it. It seems like every day is getting better and better so it's been all positive.
"At the end of the day you've got to leave it up to the number one guy to take advice from is our surgeon -- who has seen a lot of these before -- and go from there."
Giordano, who suffered a torn biceps tendon in late February, has been in contact with his surgeon on a weekly basis since undergoing a procedure to remedy the malady.
They have been working out the appropriate steps for the rearguard's recovery, starting with getting back on the ice early on in the process and working up to where they are now; Giordano has been cleared to take part in full practices, albeit with limited contact.
"The main thing is trying to strengthen it. It's been a while since surgery, they healing has gone really well but you're still pretty vulnerable if you're not strong out there. I've got to get my strength up, get my shot up and take some more contact.
"I've been given the green light to shoot a bit harder and try it out. Now it's just confidence with myself. With that every day it seems to be getting better and better to shoot the puck. It's a nice feeling."
Thursday's skate also featured the most amount of contact Giordano has weathered since re-joining team practices. His teammates bumped him in the early stages of the skate and he took a few tumbles during drills later on.
"I like getting hit, honestly," he smiled. "It's the best when you're not thinking about getting hit and you get hit because that raises your level of confidence. A couple of times I fell out there today which is good. I think it's a good thing to fall and react.
"It's gone well, it feels well. I'd still like to get a little bit stronger but it's going really well."