It has been a long time coming for Jared Cowen
. Just a few weeks ago it was believed that he would not be eligible to return this season. Tonight, he makes his return to the Senators' lineup after undergoing surgery on his hip.
"Well... I think when they told me that I wasn't going to play all year, the goal was always to do my best to come back even though they said not to," said Cowen. "I didn't know any better. Everything has gone so well. There hasn't been a hitch."
When Cowen went under the knife in mid-November, it was believed that he wouldn't be seen in a Sens jersey until next September when the 2013 pre-season got underway. Thanks to some hard work and good fortune, that date has been bumped up to April and the Sens are receiving a key player at a key time.
Coach MacLean praised the dedication and work ethic of Cowen during the recovery process — the return wouldn't have been possible without ample doses of both. Now, the focus for Cowen is preparing himself to play once again after not seeing game action in almost a year. Luckily, he has some experience in preparing himself for a return after a lengthy absence. Many will recall he had a similar set of circumstances in junior with Spokane.
"It's tough, I've done it before with my knee but it's a little different now that it's so late in the season. I'm not really sure what to expect," said Cowen. "I'm not really sure what to expect. I haven't played in so long. I'm not in game shape, but I'm as close as I can be without playing games."
Cowen may need more time before he's at full speed, but with his return the Sens are that much closer to having the blueline they envisioned last summer for late April 2013. That alone ought to help the cause.
"It's going to be tough to come in and do what I do, but all I can do is try my best."
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