Andrew Ladd is still a little ways from returning to game action, but the Islanders forward practiced with the team - in a non-contact jersey - for the first time this season on Saturday.
Ladd, who is not expected to return until the latter part of November as he recovers from a torn ACL, is expected to continue skating with the Islanders without contact for the forseeable future.
"The plan right now is that he'll practice with us in a non-contract jersey for a while," Head Coach Barry Trotz said. "He'll be a bit limited, but just being around the guys and part of the group will mentally, be real good for him."
Ladd was limited to 26 games last season, and hasn't played since March 24. Trotz said integrating Ladd back into the group should be a mental boost for the Islanders forward, who has spent much of the last year rehabbing.
"Mentally it's good for him," Trotz said. "He's had a rough patch here where he's had to do a lot of rehab for a long time. That gets old. You're here at 6 a.m. and you're rehabbing and on the ice and basically almost out the door before anyone is here in terms of teammates. It's a hard process for him mentally to stay in it, so getting him back in the group just has to be a mental boost for him forsure."
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