Bert notices knee gains

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:03 AM ET

Getting on the blades is only one step in the recovery from injury.

Feeling well enough to do it the next day is nearly as important.

Calgary Flames left-winger Todd Bertuzzi skated for the second day in row yesterday in his quest to be back in action in time for the playoffs.

"You know what? It's feeling better now," he said. "Yesterday (Thursday) was a hump day for skating. This morning I skated a little bit harder and it felt a lot better. Obviously, a step in the right direction."

Bertuzzi said there was no swelling issues in his left knee, which needed surgery early this month. However, he pointed out he's not able to do any stops and starts, more three-quarter speed gliding.

"It's still pretty fresh," he said. "It's two weeks after surgery and the wounds are still not fully healed, so you're kinda breaking up scar tissue and all that. But from my perspective, it seems like it's getting better."

Bertuzzi will likely be the first of the team's injured players to return to action.

However, Rene Bourque doesn't believe he's that far behind.Bourque didn't hit the ice yesterday after a short session Thursday, but said his first foray back from the high-ankle sprain suffered Feb. 19 was more just to test whether he could fit his swollen foot and ankle in a skate and put some pressure on it.

"I just went out to see how it felt in my skate, to see if I could tighten my boot up, and it felt fine," he said. "It's obviously still really weak."

Defenceman Rhett Warrener continues to practice with the hopes of returning from shoulder surgery, while defenceman Mark Giordano (shoulder) is expected to return if the Flames play into May.


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