Regehr nears return

Edmonton Oilers Jarret Stoll (right) gets upended Calgary Flames Robyn Regehr during second period...

Edmonton Oilers Jarret Stoll (right) gets upended Calgary Flames Robyn Regehr during second period NHL preseason action in Calgary, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2005.(CP PHOTO/Jeff McIntosh)

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:51 PM ET

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As the Calgary Flames dressed to practise for tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks, a lone figure went through drills under the guidance of assistant coach Jim Playfair.

A month after spraining the MCL in his right knee, defenceman Robyn Regehr is almost ready to return to the lineup.

"Today, I did everything," said Regehr after his third day on the ice. "I was pivoting, I was stopping and starting and I was going about three-quarters speed. No problems. I think I can go 100 percent here as soon as possible."

The initial prediction was about four weeks of recovery time for Regehr after he injured his leg in the dying seconds of a pre-season game against the Edmonton Oilers Sept. 28.

Fans wondering just how soon Regehr will suit up for a game will have to wait a little longer but can take solace in the fact the all-star is getting close.

"I want to be back as soon as possible but I think I'm looking at somewhere around a week from now," said Regehr.

"I don't know for sure. Things have to keep going well. I think they will. I'm feeling more confident all the time in being on the knee again. Continue to work hard off the ice with workouts and rehab therapy."

After another day or two of solo skates, Regehr is looking forward to rejoining his teammates on the ice.

"I hope to get in some practices. Probably start non-contact and, if it keeps feeling good, then get into contact as soon as possible and back into games," Regehr said before flying from Phoenix to San Jose.

"It does feel awkward after having been off for so long and then coming back. But I'm feeling real good right now. That week of continuing to skate and getting into practices, getting into some hitting will just hopefully build that confidence and get me ready for game situations."

Regehr and fellow injured Flame Matthew Lombardi accompanied the Flames on their five-game road trip to continue their rehabilitation with the team trainers. It's been difficult watching their teammates struggle on the ice.

"The games are tough to watch," admitted Regehr. "As a player, you want to be out there first and foremost trying to help the team win. You can't do that from the press box.

"That being said, though, it's an opportunity for me to watch and see what's going on out there. How we're penalty killing, how our powerplay is going, even strength.

"You really have to be very sharp and that way it will help you when you get back on the ice and get into those situations. You know what's going on."

Defence hasn't been the team's problem while dropping three of the first four games of the trip.

The offence has had a difficult time scoring goals despite a healthy share of opportunities to put the puck in the net -- excluding Thursday's penalty-plagued tilt in Phoenix.

Surely, though, the return of a player of Regehr's calibre will give the team the kind of confidence boost it needs right about now.

Regehr can't wait to get back on the ice for a game instead of watching from the rafters, where he's been adapting to a different perspective.

"It looks a lot slower from up above and a lot easier," said Regehr with a laugh. "The plays, you can see everything happen. The speed is a fraction of what it is when you're out on the ice and you've got guys in your face all the time chasing you down.

"I hope I don't have that view from the press box for a long long time after this, that's for sure."


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