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Fisher practices with Predators for first time since announcing comeback

No timetable on when forward will make season debut

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Forward Mike Fisher practiced with the Nashville Predators on Monday for the first time since he announced he was coming out of retirement Jan. 31. 

Fisher skated on a line with Colton Sissons and Miikka Salomaki, with forward Austin Watson taking a maintenance day. He had been skating on his own since the announcement.

"I think like anything else, it's a little bit of muscle memory and getting back in shape and feeling good," Fisher said. "It just takes time. Because it's been so long in the past however many months, I actually feel better than I thought I would at this point."

Fisher has not yet signed a contract with the Predators and must do so by Feb. 26 to be able to play the remainder of the season. He has seen progress the past two weeks but wants to make sure his body continues to respond well.

Tweet from @TomAWillis: It���s @mikefisher1212 at forward and Lavi on defense! #Preds

"It feels like I'm skating about 20,000 feet down from [30,000]," Fisher said. "Once I get down to zero, we'll be good. 

"No, it really is just a feel and how I'm feeling and working in the gym, too. It's taking time in the gym and making sure my strength is there and those things are good. It's not just shape, too. It's making sure you're taking care of your body, because the last thing I want to do here is rush in there too quick." 

The Predators have not put a timetable on when Fisher will make his season debut. When Fisher does return, he could see time on special teams and center the fourth line.

"He looked good to me," coach Peter Laviolette said. "He looked like his skating was fine. His hands are coming. I know he put in a hard week here with one of our guys just to continue to work on things and try to get better. It was a good first day for him, but there still is no timeline." 

Tweet from @PredsNHL: Fisher leading stretches this morning. �� #Preds

The Predators are in first place in the Central Division, two points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets, and don't think they're in a spot where they have to rush Fisher into the lineup. 

"The team is playing so great," Fisher said. "We've got really good depth, and hopefully we stay healthy and then I just try to keep working and try to play catch up, really. Try to catch up and do the best I can to get in there but when that is, we'll see. But the guys are playing great."

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