TORONTO -- From the skates on his feet to the smile on his face, Tomas Kaberle had plenty of reasons to be in an upbeat mood this morning.
The healing Maple Leafs defenceman was back on blades today for the first time since being decked by the New Jersey Devils' Cam Janssen on March 2.
Having suffered a concussion, back spasms and neck pains during the controversial incident, the veteran blue liner has been itching to return to action.
And while he can not yet predict when he'll be able to play in a game, today's leisurely 30-minute skate marked a significant step on his road to recovery.
"It was nice to be back on the ice again," Kaberle said. "My legs are a bit tired but that is to be expected when you have not skated in 11 days.
"It's been a difficult week. I've been bored. Other than having had a few walks outside with my mom twice a day, I wasn't able to do anything those first few days (after the injury)."
Kaberle's parents subsequently returned to their native Czech Republic late last week, leaving their son to rehab his way back into the Toronto lineup.
"I have to be careful," he said. "You never know what goes on with head injuries, and I don't want this to be the final season of my career."
At least Kaberle has not been plagued by type of post-concussion syndrome that kept teammate Carlo Colaiacovo out of the lineup for months last season.
"The main thing is, there have been no headaches," Kaberle said. "That's important."
Janssen, meanwhile, has served his three-game suspension for the Kaberle hit and is back in the Devils lineup.