One of the biggest surprises at the Lightning’s 2012 Development Camp emerged Saturday, although he appeared out of the locker room rather than on the ice.
Lightning forward Dana Tyrell, in town to consult with a team doctor regarding the progress of his surgically repaired right knee, in fact did step on the ice Saturday during the team’s final day of camp, but only to present the winning team of the highly-anticipated 3-on-3 tournament with its championship trophy.
More to the point, it has been a little over five months since the Bolts forward went down with his second significant knee injury in three years, which on Saturday, he classified as “real close” to 100 percent.
Tyrell, who had five assists in 26 games this past season with Tampa Bay, was averaging 10:30 in ice time at the time of his injury in late January that sidelined him for the remainder of the 2011-12 regular season.
But, it was a pleasant sight to see him Saturday in Brandon, where he said his own personal rehabilitation is progressing as expected.
“Right now I feel good,” Tyrell said. “I’ll be continuing to workout and rehab the knee over the next couple of months, but I expect to be ready for training camp and I’m looking forward to the upcoming season.”
Tyrell admitted that the most difficult aspect of the entire process has been not being able to play in games, although he did say the current rehabilitation process is easier this time around, now knowing what to expect as a result of previously suffering the same injury in 2009.
He also added that he has been traveling back and forth from Tampa Bay and Calgary, not far from his hometown of Airdrie, Alberta, to attend sessions focused on strengthening the knee and maintaining his current body shape, despite not being able to participate in any rigorous on-ice action in nearly half a year. Tyrell will, however, start skating soon.
“I’m anxious to get back onto the ice,” Tyrell added. “So by the time the season comes around, I feel like I’ll be in more of a rhythm and ready to return. I’ll be ready to go.”