| ||And now four words Panthers fans has been waiting to hear for nearly a year.
Bryan Allen is skating.
The veteran defenseman, who missed all but the first two games of last season due to knee surgery, reports from Canada that he’s been skating since the middle of July and has suffered no setbacks.
“I’m very excited about getting ready to come back,” said Allen, who’s been skating on his own and with a group of professionals in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario. “The knee feels good, but I also have to be cautious and take the right approach and not go too quickly.”
Allen, who suffered swelling in his left knee during last year’s training camp after underdoing arthroscopic sugery on the knee during the summer, said doctors in Vail, Colorado were pleased with his progress when he visited them the last week of July.
“The doctor was happy and more-or-less cleared me,” Allen said. “I still have to make the progression where I’m going full-out in drills and contact and stuff like that. But they didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be fine.”
Allen says he spends approximately 30 minutes skating on his own each day before slowly working into drills with other players.
“I’ve been through the initial skating with crossovers and forwards and backwards stuff,” he said. “I haven’t really progressed to stops and starts and explosive stuff yet, but that’s my final step. That will come the later part of August when I’m in Florida. Again, it’s just progressing forward, and that’s been the game plan and approach since this started. They (the doctors) asked, ‘When is training camp? When do you have to start?’ Then we made a plan to build up to it. You can’t jump right in. The first part was building strength and now it’s on-ice stuff.
“Once camp starts, I feel there should be no issues and no worries, and that’s been the goal. I feel confident. But, obviously, until I really get into those situations I’m not really going to know.”