CALGARY, AB -- Centre Sean Monahan has yet to join teammates in practice this pre-season because of a back strain, but Calgary Flames coach Glen Gulutzan isn't hitting the panic button just yet.
"It's still optimistic," Gulutzan said. "At this juncture with those types of things you'd rather be cautious rather than rush it, because then they can nag. That's the last thing we want. We want it to disappear. And that's what our mindset is … to make it go away. He's put in a lot of work. He's in good shape. It's not going to take him long. He's been involved with every meeting. He'll get up to speed quick."
Monahan sustained the injury training this off-season.
He was originally selected to represent Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey 2016, but was forced to withdraw due to the injury.
"Right now I think I just need some downtime," Monahan said on Sept. 2. "I've been training a lot this summer and training hard. I just tweaked something and it needs some time.
"I want to take some time and make sure I'm good and make sure I don't have anything nagging me during the season. It's more precautionary than anything."
Monahan had an NHL career-high 63 points (27 goals, 36 assists) in 81 games in 2015-16. He was a restricted free agent before signing a seven-year contract with Calgary on Aug. 19.
There's no set timetable for when he'll rejoin the team on the ice.
"I don't foresee it this week," Gulutzan said. "Hopefully we can look at that Sunday. But I don't see him here yet this week. I know he's training. He's getting back up to speed. There's not going to be a problem conditioning-wise as far as how much time he's put in but obviously the sooner he gets on the ice the better."