Five months ago, a collective breath was taken by Predators fans across the country as Kevin Fiala was placed on a stretcher and guided of the ice at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Minutes earlier, the winger, who was arguably the team's most dynamic piece to that point in the playoffs, found himself tangled with Blues d-man Robert Bortuzzo and hurtling feet first into the endwall. The result: a broken femur and a diagnosis of a several-month recovery.
At the opening of Predators Training Camp on Sept. 14, a rapid road back to full strength looks complete for the 21-year-old. Fiala told the media he has nothing holding him back.
"It went by very quickly, but when I watched the injury back, it was tough," Fiala said. "It was a long way, but right now, I'm full, 100 percent. It went very quickly, they thought it was going to be much longer, so I'm just very happy."
Fiala resumed skating for the first time on June 22 and has now worked his way back to a place where he can begin training camp unhindered. Earlier in the offseason, Preds General Manager David Poile said the doctors treating Fiala called his recovery one of the fastest they've ever seen.
"I just did what the doctors said and they gave me a machine to heal the bone faster and it worked," Fiala said.
"I'm looking forward to it very much," he said of the Predators 2017-18 season beginning. "I had a great summer. I'm full, 100 percent, like I said. And it's going to be a great season."