Alfredsson gets back onto the ice

Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson skated for the first time this summer after having back surgery...

Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson skated for the first time this summer after having back surgery to repair a problem with a disc. (TONY CALDWELL/QMI Agency file photo)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:24 AM ET

OTTAWA - Daniel Alfredsson took his first strides to recovery on Tuesday.

After having surgery to repair a disc problem with his back, the 38-year-old Senators captain skated for the first time this summer and plans to be back on the ice Thursday to gear up his preparations for training camp Sept. 17.

Alfredsson, who missed 28 games last season, has been working out and strengthening his back since surgery June 10. He was on the ice for 80 minutes Tuesday and even took part in a light scrimmage at the Bell Sensplex.

"It felt good to be back on the ice," said Alfredsson. "I did some drills and played a little bit of a scrimmage. It was fun. I was tired, but everything held up well and the back felt fine."

In this case, it was better late than never. While Alfredsson had told reporters he planned to skate last week, that never materialized and there was some concern about whether he'd be back in time for the start of camp.

Alfredsson hasn't suited since the injury, which caused him to have pain in his right leg, and forced him out of a game Feb. 7 in Vancouver. He attempted to recover without surgery, but never felt strong enough to make a comeback.

He played only 54 games -- the lowest in his 15-year career with Ottawa -- and was frustrated by the fact he wasn't able to make a full recovery. Surgery was the last option and he waited as long as he could before electing to have it.

Alfredsson said he's in good shape and on schedule.

"Obviously, the first time on the ice is always a struggle," said Alfredsson.

"But for being the first time, it felt good and I'll be back out on Thursday again."

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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