Calgary, AB -- After surprising the hockey world by resigning veteran forward Olli Jokinen on July 1st, General Manager Darryl Sutter tied the move the slower-than-expected recovery of Daymond Langkow.
"We are 100 days post-injury and we thought he'd be further along than he is," Sutter said after announcing the Flames had signed Jokinen to a two-year deal. "He's probably in that 60 per cent area. I know we're 100 days away (from the start of the regular season), but it is a concern. To be quite honest, it ties big into Olli."
The bleak news made the rugged forward's future with the club murky at best but on Friday, Assistant General Manager Jay Feaster shed some positive light on Langkow's recovery.
"He reported some improvement and we're all very optimistic as a result of that," Feaster said. "He's not cleared to go full contact right now but certainly he has reported feeling better. It's the first time all summer he's reported that. We're optimistic as a result."
While he is not cleared to participate in full practices, Feaster said Langkow has been working throughout the summer in aims of returning for the start of the 2010-11 season.
"He's following the rehab protocol. As far as what he's doing training-wise, what they don't want him doing, he met with (strength and conditoning coach) Rich Hesketh and made sure Rich is on side with where the doctors are so we just continue with what it is that the doctors are saying as far as his therapy and his rehab and we keep our fingers crossed and say our prayers at night."
Langkow sustained an upper-body injury in March while battling with a pair of Minnesota defencemen in front of the net. He was overpowered and when he was falling to the ice, an Ian White slapshot struck his upper back. He missed the remainder of the 2009-10 season.
In five seasons with the Flames, Langkow has posted 123 goals and 287 points.