TORONTO -- Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland has been out of action since Nov. 7 when a tendon in his ankle was cut by the skate blade of Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian.
Bolland resumed skating in Toronto this week and spoke to the media Saturday for the first time since getting back on the ice.
Center - TOR
GOALS: 6 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 10
SOG: 27 | +/-: 4
"It's not like any other rehab when you break an ankle and you can just say six weeks and you're back and it's healed," Bolland said. "You cut a tendon and it's got to re-heal itself. You've got to do the rehab, do the movements with the trainers and in the gym. It's not fun. It's grueling.
"You're always in the gym, you're always doing the things. You want to get back on the ice and you want to play but these are the things you've got to do to get back on the ice. Now I'm at that step back on the ice. Now it's just trying to get back into the game."
Bolland had surgery on the tendon shortly after he sustained the injury. It's a good sign that he's returned to the ice to skate, but it doesn't come without pain.
"There's my good days and my bad days," Bolland said. "I'll have a great day and then come in the next day and have a bad day. I hope they're always good but I think I'll always have one of those bad days."
Before Bolland was hurt he was a key producer for the Maple Leafs with six goals and 10 points in 15 games. The time away from playing has made him anxious to get back.
"I love playing hockey and I love being out there with all the guys and being on the ice instead of sitting in the trainer's room and hanging out with the trainers," Bolland said. "You think some days you can push it and you push it too much and you set yourself behind. You're just hurting yourself. I think for myself it's being patient and being ready when I'm ready."
Bolland said he hopes he can join the team on its upcoming four-game road trip. By skating again he continues the process of returning to action eventually.
"I'm hoping I'm near that point. I'm going to strive to get to that point," Bolland said. "It's not fun getting out there on your own and hanging out there with [strength and conditioning coach] Anthony [Belza] and doing those skating drills. I want to be out there with the guys and I want to skate with them. That's the next goal."
The Maple Leafs depart for Phoenix on Sunday and play the Coyotes on Monday.