Here is a transcript of Erik Karlsson’s discussion with the media/
How do you feel?
KARLSSON: “Obviously it’s nice to be back on the ice with the guys. It’s been awhile. Even it wasn’t the hardest practice in the world it was still a good thing to do and it gave me some perspective on where I am right now.”
You say it wasn’t a hard practice, you looked comfortable?
KARLSSON: “That’s where I am right now. I try to do what I can and I try to make it feel as normal as possible even though it’s not exactly where I want to be. At least it’s good to be out there, receive some passes and give some good hard passes.”
What limitations do you feel you have?
KARLSSON: “It’s only been nine weeks or so. We expected it to take a lot more time. Right now it’s just about getting that normal feeling back being back on skates, getting around and getting the timing back. I’m still taking it day-to-day.
How is your conditioning?
KARLSSON: “Pretty good. I’m not sweating that bad. I haven’t been able to do a lot of lower body work for a period of time but I think ever since I’ve been able to walk frequently I’ve been trying to keep in shape. Even if I don’t come back and play it’s still good to be in good condition going into the summer.”
Is there a timeline?
KARLSSON: “There’s not a timeline, not right now. I don’t think anybody expects more than anything than trying to skate as much as possible and trying to get normal feeling back in my leg. The more I skate, the better I’m going to feel. When the time comes it’s probably going to be a decision made the same day.”
Feel good to skate with other guys?
KARLSSON: “When you skate alone you do your drills, do your stuff and take your shots, but you can’t really finger on if it’s really good or really bad. Skating with the guys is going to help me figure out where I am right now. I’m just going to try to be out there with them and stay out of their way. I will see how I feel after a week or so.”
A good measuring stick?
KARLSSON: “It’s nice to be back. Playoffs are coming and it’s an exciting time of year. It’s nice to be around the guys and to be part of the team. Just being able to skate with the guys is going to help you get that feeling back. Hopefully, that will help my recovery.”
So, you’ll try to skate daily?
KARLSSON: “Hopefully as much as I can as much as we practice. I’m going to try to be out there. It keeps me from waking up at 7 a.m. every day and it’s nice to be able to just be in team drills and, as I said, take some shots at the goalies and see all the guys out there.”
How tough is it to watch?
KARLSSON: “Actually, not that tough. We’ve been playing well and we’ve been winning games. We play every day. It keeps you busy, in the game still and I couldn’t have wished for anything else. Where we’re at right now is terrific. We’re still improving and, hopefully, we can find a groove going forward.”
Is it about confidence?
KARLSSON: “When you’ve been away for awhile it almost feels like summer for me when you haven’t been on the ice for a long time. I haven’t been able to do all the normal stuff. It’s nice to be back and see all the situations. Getting some hard passes and skating without thinking.”
Any target for you at all?
KARLSSON: “Every injured player wants to get back as quick as possible. I’m not going to put myself in a situation where I don’t feel comfortable and I’m not going to jeopardize anything going into next season. I’m not going to take any stupid decisions and I don’t think anyone working around me either is going to give me bad advice. We’re going to have to wait to see how it feels going forward practising with the team.”
Bryan Murray hoped you could provide some energy?
KARLSSON: “It’s nice to be back. You’ve been away for such a long time. You meet the guys all the time but it’s a different feeling when you talk on the ice and skate around together. Whatever I can do to help and be part of the team is hopefully going to help.”
Did you expect the recovery to come along this quick?
KARLSSON: “Early in my injury it was tough to say how it was going to go and I couldn’t really do much. The last couple of weeks it’s been progressing every day and even though it’s very small things it still feels better and more normal. Everything is starting to work more. That’s why it is tough to set a timetable because I don’t think anybody has been around this type of injury either. It’s just going to be day-to-day and as long as I keep feeling better and not worse it’s a good thing.”
How do you feel?
KARLSSON: “It’s tough to say how I feel. I don’t feel like I used to and as long as I don’t get any pain or any setbacks it’s a good sign. It shows I can keep doing what I’m doing and push forward.”
How close are you?
KARLSSON: “It’s tough to say. One thing is going to be going into the corners and having a guy on (me). Just those small movements and the timing of it all is going to be the key. The more I practice and drills, I will have a better sense. This was the first day. It felt good but it doesn’t feel like it used to.”