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Williams on the Ice (Updated)

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes

Justin Williams, who is in the midst of a long rehab process after rupturing his Achilles tendon prior to training camp, is on the ice prior to practice this morning for the first time since the injury.

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While it’s encouraging to see him back and progressing nicely, don’t get excited about an imminent return.  A main focus of his today seems to be balancing on one skate at a time, to give you an idea of how much ground still needs to be covered.  I’ll update further after practice. 

Patrick Eaves was also back skating for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury at Washington last week.  Frank Kaberle continues his pre-practice skate regimen.

With the Canes coming off of their two worst efforts of the season (arguably), I’m interested to see the tempo of today’s skate.  Is more rest needed, or will coach Laviolette have a tough ride in store for his team?

Update: Hurricanes trainer Pete Friesen says Williams’ rehab is going “remarkably well.”

”It was a great surgery and he’s a young, hard-working guy, so everything’s going along very well for his rehab process,” said Friesen.

Williams wasn’t on the ice for very long this morning as he didn’t feel very comfortable in his skates.  Friesen said it wasn’t clear if that was due to the skate itself or if it was directly related to his injury.

The plan for the coming week is to steadily increase his ice time to be in the 30-40 minute range.

” He’s got to first of all develop a tolerance to being on the ice,” said Friesen.  “He’s going to be on his skates, and that makes him about three inches taller.  That’s a tremendous stress on anybody who hasn’t skated, let alone someone that’s got a brand new tendon there.”

Well, so far so good.  The Canes have a habit of getting players back on the ice ahead of schedule, and with everything apparently going well, this situation looks to be no different.  If nothing else, maybe he’ll be on the front end of the 4-6 month range, which would have him back in mid-January.

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