Mats is back on the ice

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

Mats Sundin returned to the scene of the crime yesterday.

Just 17 days after being drilled in the left eye by a puck during the Maple Leafs season opener against the visiting Ottawa Senators, the Toronto captain stepped back onto the Air Canada Centre ice surface and skated for the first time since the incident.

Wearing a blue track suit and baseball cap, Sundin smacked around a few pucks during his solitary glide, which took place prior to the Leafs' morning skate.

"It felt very well,"Sundin said. "I took a couple of slap shots and skated around a bit.

"I just wanted to rough up the ice a bit for (the rest of the team)."

Sundin recently received medical clearance to "begin moving around, and I chose today. It was a good opportunity to skate."

Sundin is slated to be re-examined early this week by Dr. Stanley Chang, the renowned New York-based eye specialist, to determine if laser surgery is required to repair any retina damage.

Given the choice, Sundin is hoping the meeting with Dr.Chang will take place tomorrow.

"If I need (surgery) it will be minor," he said.

"It might help bring about a quicker recovery."

In the meantime, the veteran centre, whose mug has taken more than its share of beatings during his illustrious career, reiterated that he will be donning a face shield upon his return.

"There is no time schedule for me," said Sundin, who still is experiencing blurriness. "It's about the same, maybe marginally better. But I will get my vision back. I can feel it's heading in the right direction.

"When I come back I will wear a visor.

"There will be no problem for me. I've run out of luck with my face.

"Next time, I might not be so lucky."


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