Kessel back on ice

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

A grateful Phil Kessel has traded in hospital slippers for his beloved skates.

Less than a month after undergoing surgery for testicular cancer, the Boston Bruins rookie remarkably was back on the ice practising with his teammates yesterday.

Having not yet received medical clearance for body contact out on the ice, Kessel will not be in the lineup when the Bruins play host to the Maple Leafs tonight at the TD Banknorth Garden.

That's fine with the young forward, who is just glad to be on his blades again so quickly, just as his attending physicians predicted.

PRAISE FOR DOCTORS

"I always believed them," Kessel told reporters in Boston yesterday. "They are great doctors here in Boston and they know what they are talking about. They have been through many of these procedures before.

"(The recovery time) is different for different people but with me being so active and in good shape, I think it helped my body out."

Saying he "felt fine" during the workout, Kessel, 19, was thrilled to be out there with his fellow Bruins again.

"I missed it," he said. "I love playing hockey, being around the rink and hanging around the guys. When you are not around that, you realize how much you miss it."

During the healing process, Kessel tried clicking on the tube in order to monitor the progress of his Bruins.

"I watched some, but it was hard because I wanted to be there so bad," he said.


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