Rene Bourque switched his jersey in the middle of yesterday's practice, trading his yellow caution shirt for a blue model.
"Slowly progressing. I'm feeling better every day," said Bourque, who had ankle surgery in July.
Bourque partook in contact drills, and even collided with the net when doing a one-on-one drill with defenceman Brett Palin.
"That was fine. Just taking the puck to the net. It didn't hurt," he said.
Bourque, who scored 21 goals last season, needs to see a doctor for a final sign-off, but coach Brent Sutter expects the top-six forward to become involved almost immediately.
"He needs to get into where it's more game-like situations now," Sutter said. "We were patient through the first few days, and rightly so and still will be, but he needs to take it to the next level."
Enforcer Brian McGrattan is still wearing a yellow jersey due to his off-season shoulder surgery, while prospect John Armstrong is yet to skate due to an "upper-body injury."
Winger Fredrik Sjostrom left during his session after being hit in the face by a puck.
Four more junior players were sent to their respective clubs yesterday. Lance Bouma (Vancouver), T.J. Brodie (Saginaw), Greg Nemisz (Windsor) and Mitch Wahl (Spokane) packed their bags.
"They're all very good prospects," Sutter said. "They all bring a little bit different to their games, but they're young players that are top prospects that need to develop."