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Pardy set for a return

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- For Flames defenceman Adam Pardy, the last two months have dragged along at an excruciatingly slow pace.

Out since Oct. 10 with a shoulder injury, Pardy has been spending his time rehabbing while

In 119 games with the Flames, Pardy has notched three goals, 19 points and an even rating.
battling frustration with his situation.

"Sitting here, four weeks in a sling, that was tough. You're trying to ride the bike and you've got this big-ass sling on and you can only put one hand on the handle bars, it's kind of crappy sometimes," he admitted.

"You come in some days and you just want to kick the bike over and go home again. You've got to realize it's the situation that it is and I've got eight weeks to get myself in the best shape that I can."

Trying to stay in game shape while adorning a sling for the good part of a month can be extremely difficult, but thanks to both the countless hours spent with strength and conditioning coach Rich Hesketh and his ability to get back on the ice, Pardy has had little trouble getting back into the swing of things.

"It was four and a half weeks without skating, it was tough those first few days back but I think working with Rich, we did the right things. I felt good out on the ice the last couple of days with the guys. I felt up to speed. A couple dumped passes here and there but that will get better as each day goes along."

The blueliner has been skating with the club this week and while he's not cleared for contact yet, he believes he's close to being able to fully participate with his team.

"I saw the doctor last night (Monday) and we need a couple more practices with the boys. It was the first real practice today, yesterday was just a pre-game skate," he said on Tuesday afternoon.

"It was a little different, a little bit faster pace but it was good. It felt good to be out there and we'll take it day-by-day. Hopefully I'll get cleared sooner than later but we've just got to take it slow right now."

When asked if he had a tentative return date in mind, Pardy just shook his head.

"I have no idea. My guess would be tomorrow but I don't make those decisions," he laughed. "We've got to trust the doctors and what they're saying. Obviously this is my first time doing this. This injury, they've seen 100 times so you've got to listen to those guys."

With Pardy's return on the horizon, the Flames defence corps will be shook up. When the 26 year-old is cleared to play, Calgary will have eight defenceman on the roster.

"If you look right now, in the last three or four weeks, since I got injured, guys have been in and out. The rotation has been pretty much game-to-game. Guys are in and out. I guess it's going to be the same when I come back, there will be two guys sitting out then."

With this kind of depth, cracking the lineup won't be easy but Pardy is adamant it is good for his club.

"It's going to push guys to make sure they're a little better prepared each game, each practice and that's always a good thing" he said. "It's going to be a healthy competition. Guys are going to be pushing each other.

"Whoever's in, we're really hoping they play well because it's not about who is in or who is out, it's about winning games. That's what we've got to worry about here. Who cares who plays as long as we're getting two points."

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