It has been a long time coming but Craig Anderson
has finally begun making appearances at team practices this week and appears to slowly be getting closer to his return to game action this season.
Andy, who went down on February 21 against the New York Rangers with a sprained ankle, has been recuperating for a little over a month's time now. Obviously any need for him to risk a hasty return and play through excessive pain has been eliminated by the stellar performances of Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner in his absence but the return of the Sens' top goaltender will be a welcome one.
Right now there is no set timetable for his return to the ice, it's simply a matter of getting comfortable in the crease to a point where he'll be able to enter the lineup once again, "It's hard to tell right now. I want to make sure that I'm comfortable and give the team the best opportunity to win the hockey game," said Anderson. "Until I get that rhythm back by practicing a few more times it's hard to say."
That rhythm he's referring to still has him on top of many key statistical categories in the NHL right now. Obviously his absence would not have diminished those numbers at all, but nobody has coming close to the bar he set speaks to how strong he played out of the gate.
While the nagging nature of a joint sprain will continue to stick with him for the foreseeable future, he is focused on getting himself sharp and ensuring that the ankle doesn't impede his play.
"From what I understand there's always going to be discomfort for quite a while with this type of injury so it's one of those things where you're going to have to play through some pain but, at the same time, I want to make sure I'm not hesitant or favouring that side at all. I want to make sure I feel normal as best I can."
Sens fans can take solace knowing that Anderson is always improving, however, and that the signs are encouraging after his first couple of appearances at practice with the team. While there is no set time expectation for him, the possibility of a return in the near future is very much in play.
"It has been a lot better," said Anderson. "Yesterday I skated again by myself and today it felt two or three times better than yesterday. I'm hoping as the days go on here that it gets better and better every day. Before you know it I'm at 100 per cent."
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