Mats on the mend

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

A healing Mats Sundin cannot yet predict when he'll be able to strap on the blades again.

But the Maple Leafs captain is planning to partake in some easy off-ice workouts in the coming days, the first step on his long road back to the National Hockey League.

"I have no idea (when I'll start skating) but I will start moving around later this week," Sundin said yesterday during an interview with the Swedish newspaper Svenska Bagbladet.

"It will just be light practising, nothing on the ice. I just want to keep in shape."

Sundin received encouraging news Tuesday when an examination of his left orbital bone fracture revealed that surgery was unlikely.

"It doesn't look that way right now," he said. "But the doctors are still monitoring it and have to wait a week for a definite answer."

It has been one week since Sundin was smacked near the left eye by a puck during the first period of the Leafs' home opener against the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre.

The veteran centre immediately fell to the ice in pain, his eye almost completely sealed shut upon impact.

With his vision impaired, Sundin enlisted a driver to chauffeur him around town in the days following the injury.

"It feels a lot better," Sundin said. "The swelling on the outside is almost completely down.

"The problem is, my vision is still blurry. That's because the swelling inside the eye is still there.

But the doctors promised that once the swelling is down, my vision will be normal."

In the meantime, Sundin was complimentary of the performance turned in by fellow Swede Mikael Tellqvist, who was the first star in the Leafs' 4-2 victory Tuesday over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. It was Toronto's first win in four outings this season.

"I really hope it helps his confidence because Mikael is a really good goaltender," Sundin said.


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