VANCOUVER, BC -- Since getting the green light from the Calgary Flames medical staff earlier this month, captain Mark Giordano has been hitting the ice every day with his teammates.
Donning a regular practice jersey, handling the puck, and traveling with the team, questions have started to circulate about his availability in the near future.
Head coach Bob Hartley was quick to quash any rumors about the rearguard nearing a return to the lineup.
"He's a worker so I'm not surprised he's doing so well," Hartley said in his post-practice media address. "At the same time, he's not close.
"I know it's fun for our group to see our captain get on the ice. It's probably more intriguing for you guys ... I'm sure Twitter is going. But at the same time, we'll stay calm. We always go with our medical staff. They make the call ... Mark Giordano is not close."
Giordano suffered a torn biceps muscle on Feb. 25 in New Jersey and underwent surgery shortly after. The malady was deemed season-ending but his recovery is ahead of schedule.
However, the veteran rearguard isn't getting ahead of himself and is taking it one day at a time.
"I'm trying to stay in shape and condition," Giordano said earlier this month. "I have to meet with the surgeon a bunch more times before [returning] becomes a reality, but I feel good. I feel like hopefully the rehab is going better than expected, but it's still a bit early for that.
"I really have to start gaining my strength and stuff back. Hopefully we go really deep and then we have a decision to make afterwards, but right now it's still a bit early."