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Stars' Stephane Robidas back on skates @NHLdotcom

Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas took a step forward this week in his recovery from a broken right leg when he took the ice to begin skating on his own.

Robidas, who was injured in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 29, skated for the first time since the injury on Monday and was on the ice again Tuesday at the Stars' practice facility in Frisco, Texas.

"It's pretty good. It's better than I expected, to be honest," Robidas told the Stars website when asked about his first couple of skating sessions. "A little bit of it is pain, a lot of it is mental. You've got to trust it. We just did a little skating, no stop and start, no pivoting. Obviously the stride is not the same, but I try to keep it as close as possible. Monday I couldn't do any crossover to one side, but by the end of today I was able to do some. Progress.

"The first time I skated, I really wasn't sure what to expect and it went really well. Today, it went even better. That's positive. I wasn't sore after that. I've got to push it, but I've got to be smart at the same time where I don't overdo it."

Robidas broke his leg when his skate got stuck in a rut; he had surgery the next morning. His recovery timetable was put at 4-6 months, meaning his earliest possible return would be late March.

The 36-year-old is optimistic he can return before the regular season ends.

"I am trying to figure out that I am going to need so much practice with the team, maybe I could be there at this time and this is what is going to happen next," he said. "Your timetable is getting closer and closer. I feel like I have more of a defined goal now, I have an idea of where I am going and what date and where maybe I can play. To me that is positive. And just to have a goal, at least I am training for something and that I'll be able to be back and playing this year."

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