Michalek's goal is good health

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:11 AM ET

Of course Milan Michalek would be ecstatic with the start he had last season, when he had bagged 15 goals by Dec. 1.

But really, he has a different goal in 2010-11.

"It would be great, to have the same start, but to keep it going for the whole year would be great," the 25-year-old Senators left winger said Wednesday, when he and Alex Kovalev became the final regulars to join their teammates for the last game of the summer hockey season. "We'll see. I just want to stay healthy. That's the main goal now."

Michalek's fortunes started going south Jan. 7, when he went down with a shoulder injury that sidelined him for seven games. And while he finished the season at a much slower scoring pace with 22 goals, his luck around the net was worst March 18, when he wrapped his left knee around a goal post in Atlanta.

A couple of comeback attempts, including one in the playoffs, proved fruitless. Michalek had torn the ACL in his left knee six years after suffering a similar injury in his right one.

"The ACL is one of the hardest (to rehab) I think, but I had it before, so I knew what to do and ever ything," he said. "That made it easier for me. But still, it's a lot of hard work everyday. I got into great shape. So hopefully, it's going to be good."

While Kovalev was skating for just the fourth time this summer Wednesday, Michalek has been on the ice in Montreal, where he spends the off-season, a number of times. Still, he'll naturally keep the knee monitored closely during the rigours of training camp, as will the Senators training staff.

"I still feel it, and it's going to be a few more months like that, but I feel good on the ice, very stable and strong," he said. "So hopefully, it's going to be good."

While Michalek was on Jason Spezza's wing most of the time he was in the lineup, Peter Regin did a good job filling in for him during the latter part of the season and in the playoffs. Michalek isn't sure if he'll get his first line job back, nor is it an immediate concern.

"I didn't talk to anybody yet," he said. "We'll see. There's still a lot of time before the season starts. We have a lot of good players here."


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