Flyers center Peter Forsberg returned to the Philadelphia area over the weekend, and skated on his surgically repaired right foot for the first time on Tuesday at the Virtua Health Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey. Forsberg met with the media following the skate.
Peter Forsberg: "It's hard to tell exactly how it feels the first time skating, but it's definitely fun to be out there much earlier than I thought and expected to be back. It feels great to be back on the ice."
Were you able to do more than you anticipated? "At first I was going to [have surgery on] both [feet] and it was going to take a long, long time, and from going to missing half the year to right now in the beginning of camp it is a great feeling. Obviously, I don't think I'm in as good a shape as I should be right now, but considering the surgeries and everything I'm happy to be here and just get it going."
Do you think you can be ready for the start of training camp (on September 15)? "It's hard to say, but I think so today even if it was just a scrimmage and easy skate. It's 10 more days, and even if I'm not ready at the beginning of training camp, hopefully I'll feel [well] enough to play at the beginning of the year."
Is this a test period? "A little bit. I have nine days to skate now before camp starts. If I'm not ready, I'm not ready. I'm not going to go out and try to hurt myself or anything. Of course, we're going to do some strength tests on the foot, and see if it's close to the other one. If it is, I should be ready to go."
Are you surprised at all you are able to get back out there at this point? "At first we were going to [have surgery on] both [feet] so of course I'm a little surprised, but it feels good to be back. It would be hard to miss half the year, and I'm just really happy to be back on the ice skating and hopefully playing at the level I want to be playing at when I start. It was a great feeling to be out there today. Like I said, it's much sooner than expected so it feels great."
Is the opening game (on Oct. 5) a possibility for you? "I'm certainly hoping for it. It's only a month to go, and I've just got to keep on working and if everything goes like it should I could be ready. That's what I'm aiming for and hoping for.
"It's hard to say exactly how the foot feels. It's been one skate. You're not really killing yourself out there, and it's going to take some time to feel if the foot is 100 percent. If it feels great and I can play to the performance I want to be playing at…so, I just have to keep working and strengthening up the foot and we'll see in a couple of weeks how it feels. But, everything feels great right now and I can't complain. I've been working hard and the summer after surgery has been great so I've just got to keep on working and hopefully I'll be ready the fifth of October."
On the team's roster: "We have a really deep lineup, especially at forward. I think we have a lot of guys that have played in the NHL and a lot of young guys that could be really good players in the league. I think it looks really good. Of course, we're missing one guy, but other than that I think it looks good."
Have you talked to [Simon Gagne] at all? "No, not really. I've got nothing to do with that, I just hope he's back soon. He's a big part of the team but we'll see what happens. I think everything is going to be fine and he should be here pretty soon."
Does it worry you? "Of course a little bit, but I understand both sides of the situation. All we, as players, can hope for is that it is settled as soon as possible."