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Galchenyuk hits major milestone in recovery

by Alex Galchenyuk
Alex Galchenyuk is a forward for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot, 198-pound forward was born in Milwaukee but is of Russian decent -- his father, Alexander, spent five of his 22 professional seasons playing in the U.S. Alex was the first pick of the 2010 OHL draft, and last season had 31 goals and 52 assists in 68 games. He had 2 goals and an assist in five games for Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, and returned to take part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Despite suffering a major knee injury that could end his season before it really starts, Galchenyuk has offered to maintain a monthly blog for that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Hey everybody. Hope all of you had a good time over the holidays.

I have some exciting news this month -- I went out on the ice! It was Dec. 19th, and it only was for about 10 minutes, but it still felt great. It made me feel like I am getting closer and closer to recovery.

The second time was Dec. 31, and of course the second time around I felt more comfortable on the ice. I was still taking it very easy, but I went out there and took a few good shots. I guess all my upper-body workouts are paying off. So that was a very exciting way for me to start the New Year.

Therapy in London is going well. I can do mostly everything now, and we decided to reduce it to two times a week. I'm visiting Dr. Vargo's office daily for additional physiotherapy and massages. I've started swimming and I'm doing squats and lunges. My legs are getting bigger and stronger and I still focus on my upper body and core, too. Also, daily cardio is in my routine now, so I can get in shape faster. If in the beginning it was mostly therapy and a little workout, now I've started working out almost at full strength. My doctor says that hopefully closer to the end of this month I will officially be allowed to skate. I'm pretty pumped about that.

Christmas and New Year's was fun with my family, but I didn't really take any time off during the holidays this year. I don't want to lose any time. Our family also celebrated Russian Christmas which is Jan. 6-7.

I watched most of the World Junior Championship. It was a very intense competition and a lot of exciting games. Although I enjoyed watching, I admit I wasn't that crazy over it because it's hard to just watch and not be able to participate. I'm very happy for my buddies from Team Russia, "Jambo" (Nail Yakupov) and "Dino" (Artem Sergeev) for winning the silver medal. Also for Filip Forsberg and Sebastian Collberg from Team Sweden. I had a chance to play with both of them on one line when we played for Europe Selects and both are great players. I'm especially happy for Ludvig Rensfeldt, my teammate from Sarnia, for winning the gold. It was a great level of hockey.

I also loved watching all the episodes of the HBO "24/7" series with the Rangers and Flyers, and as always it was one of the best shows of the year. It's always interesting to get that inside scoop on all of the players.

Hopefully when I check in this time next month I’ll finally be skating with my team.  Talk to you guys soon!

And thanks to all the people supporting me on Twitter at @AGally94 -- it means a lot.
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