Kyle Brodziak figured there was no chance to play on Saturday.
But as the day progressed the Edmonton Oilers forward felt his knee get better. So he suited up against the Calgary Flames.
"It's feeling good," said Brodziak after practice yesterday. "It felt really good (yesterday), a lot better than it did two days ago.
"During the game it wasn't that bad, but because I hadn't done anything for a couple of days, and the first time I had been on the ice was during the game, my legs felt a little bit heavy."
Brodziak, 23, injured his knee late in the Oilers 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild last Thursday.
However, despite missing two days of practice, Brodziak took the warm-up Saturday and deemed himself well enough to play.
"It's still a little bit swollen," Brodziak said. "It's a lot better than it was a couple of days ago. It started to bruise (Sunday), but other than that it's fine.
"I'd say it's probably about 80%."
Brodziak, in his first full year with the Oilers, has three goals and three assists in 19 games. He also has an important role on the Oilers penalty-killing unit.
"The pain is there a little bit, but not enough to where it throws you off at all," he said. "I try not to worry about it too much. I don't think there's too much tentativeness when it comes to my knee. It really didn't bother me that much."
Because Brodziak was able to play Saturday, Liam Reddox's debut was put on hold. Reddox, 21, was recalled by the Oilers from the Springfield Falcons last week, but has not yet played a game. Brodziak is expected to be back in the lineup tonight against the Vancouver Canucks.
"My knee is pretty much almost normal again," Brodziak said. "Maybe playing will slow down the healing process a little bit, but I found that (Sunday) morning, because I was using my knee so much that it loosened up a little bit.
"The swelling of the joint was affecting my mobility, so the more I use it, the more it loosens up."