Sep 5, 2013, 6:41 PM EDT
A week of positive news for the Florida Panthers continued on Thursday, as it appears that key winger Kris Versteeg‘s knee rehab could be ahead of schedule.
The 27-year-old required season-ending knee surgery in March, and following that procedure, he estimated that he might be ready to play again in November. That recovery process has apparently gone better than expected, however, as he told the Miami Herald that he’s shooting to play in the Panthers season opener on Oct. 3.
“It’s a long process but my goal is to be ready for the start of the season,” Versteeg said. “I guess we’ll see how training camp goes. I don’t want to go into a regular season game without knowing what training camp is like. I think I’ll be there for most of it. That’s my goal.”
Versteeg skated with teammates on Thursday, so if nothing else, things are moving in the right direction.
After a breakout debut with the Panthers where he scored 23 goals and 54 points in 71 games in 2011-12, Versteeg was limited to 10 games in 2013 (collecting four points).
The Panthers haven’t made big renovations despite a lousy 2013 season, so getting a healthy Versteeg would be a significant boost.
- Ouch: Wild reportedly suspend Harding for ‘non-hockey injury’ 4
- Keeping Kuemper: Wild sign goalie to two-year deal reportedly worth $2.5M 9
- Selanne regrets harsh words toward Boudreau 3
- Flyers’ Timonen admits chances of playing are ‘really slim’ 7
- Desjardins (a.k.a. not Torts) makes good first impression on Canucks 22
- Leafs deny rift between Kessel and coaching staff 20
- Injured Crosby, Malkin will miss start of Pens’ camp 10
- Selanne rips Boudreau in book 18
- Just how damaging are heated negotiations between Jackets, RFA Johansen? 38
- Panthers owners say they’re committed even though team has lost ‘tremendous amounts of money’ 12
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (62)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (54)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)