SUN Hockey Pool

Looking to rebound quickly

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

Jussi Markkanen has been hit by thousands of shots, many of which left him bruised but not broken.

The one that did bust Markkanen up - a rising slapper from in tight that caught him on the collarbone - will force him to miss the start of training camp for the Edmonton Oilers, but the 30-year-old stopper believes he'll be ready to go when the regular season faces off and not leave the entire netminding load to Ty Conklin.

"He's capable for sure, but I hope I'll be ready at least for the season, if not earlier," said Markkanen, who was hurt while skating with his home town team in Finland two weeks ago.

"I think in a couple of days we'll know much more. It's not the ideal situation but I'm focused on the rehab process and I want to be ready whenever it's better."

Another X-ray of the collarbone will be taken today when the Oiler veterans undergo their pre-training camp physicals at the University of Alberta Butterdome. If everything is headed in the right direction, Markkanen figures he could be back on skates in seven to 10 days.

"It's starting to feel better,"he said. "I feel like it's going very well and I'm comfortable saying that it's going to be soon."

Markkanen, who signed a new two-year contract with the Oilers in August, had a terrific campaign during the NHL lockout while playing in the Russian Elite League. The 30-year-old posted a league-best 1.20 goals-against average and 11 shutouts for Lada Togliatti, putting him in a hopeful position to repeat those efforts with the Oilers.

"The numbers were unbelievable," smiled Markkanen.

"It's still very good but it's a different kind of hockey there. It doesn't count anymore so I've got a fresh start here and everybody's starting from the same spot."


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