For Mike Comrie, it was good just to be back on the ice.
The Edmonton Oilers forward has been out of the lineup since mid-November with mononucleosis. On Sunday, he was healthy enough to take part in the Oilers Skills event at Rexall Place.
"It's nice to be out there skating and doing what we do, which is play hockey," Comrie said. "It's been pretty frustrating this year. I don't think anybody is really satisfied right now."
Signed as a free agent just prior to the start of the season, Comrie had five goals and three assists in 16 games before coming down with mono. He's been battling the ailment since, and has just recently begun skating again.
"I've practised a few times with the team, and I hope to be back soon," Comrie said. "I think once the coaches think that I'm ready to play, then I'll be ready."
Injuries have set Comrie back in the past couple of seasons. This year, he went into the year healthy and after an impressive exhibition season, was looking forward to rebounding with a strong year.
However, he was first hit hard by the flu bug that went around the room, then returned briefly before being stricken by mono.
"I've been skating with the team for a few days now," Comrie said. "I think after a couple of hard practices, I'll be ready to go.
"I've been working hard at the gym for a few weeks now. But when you're out on the ice, it's a little different."
Comrie looked comfortable on the ice Sunday, taking part in the puck-control relay, the shootout and the three-on-three scrimmage.
"I felt good," he said. "I was getting double-shifted out there today during the scrimmage."
Not so, according to teammate J-F Jacques.
"He said he was getting double shifted, but he was taking double shifts."
Jacques smiled. "He also pulled the goalie so he could go on the ice."