The Penguins were back to work Wednesday afternoon at CONSOL Energy Center. And so was goaltender Tomas Vokoun.
Vokoun, 37, took part in his first full team practice, which is the latest step for him as he tries to work his way back into the lineup five months after having emergency surgery for a blood clot.
|Tomas Vokoun at Wednesday's practice |
“My agenda is practice and see how I feel and how it goes. Take it one day at a time,” Vokoun said. “It’s pretty much left open. I’m trying to get back, see how I feel. Make sure (it) holds up.”
While his future may remain uncertain, there is no doubt of Vokoun’s intentions. He plans on pushing himself as far as he can to return to the lineup. And he believes it’s possible.
“I have to (believe). If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be out here,” Vokoun said. “But saying that, you just never know what’s going to happen. The team showed interest in me coming back. It’d be nice not to finish my career in the stands watching, finish as a player. But saying that, I’m putting everything into it and trying to get in good shape and hopefully come back to playing.”
Vokoun was on blood thinners immediately following his surgery. He was taken off the blood thinners in mid-January and skated for the first time in four months on Jan. 22. Vokoun began taking shots for the first time Jan. 28.
“I’m medically cleared to do anything I needed to do to perform to my job,” Vokoun said.
Vokoun was one of three goalies on the ice for the Pittsburgh in, joining Marc-Andre Fleury and Jeff Zatkoff.
Practice notes: Twelve players skated at 2:30 p.m. for practice. Those players were Craig Adams, Tanner Glass, Chuck Kobasew, James Neal, Brandon Sutter, Robert Bortuzzo, Deryk Engelland, Matt Niskanen, Rob Scuderi, Fleury, Zatkoff and Vokoun.
Injured players Beau Bennett Joe Vitale, Taylor Pyatt and Chris Conner jumped on the ice following team practice to work with strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar. The Pens had no update on any of the injured players.