When the Maple Leafs charter departs this afternoon for the team's two-game trek to Washington and Montreal, Tomas Kaberle hopes there's a seat with his name on it.
"I would really like to go on the trip, even if it means just participating in the warmup and morning skates," Kaberle said yesterday. "I don't want to just sit around or work out on my own. It would be really nice just to be around the guys again. I miss that."
According to Kaberle, team medical officials will examine him this morning prior to practice at Lakeshore Lions Arena. Should he receive the green light from the training and coaching staff, he'll be able to join his teammates for the on-ice workout.
If there are no after-effects, then maybe, just maybe, he'll get his wish to accompany the team.
"We'll see how I feel and see if I can practice with the boys," Kaberle said.
So far, so good.
Kaberle, who suffered a concussion courtesy of a late hit from the New Jersey Devils' Cam Janssen on March 2, resumed skating with a 30-minute stint on Tuesday.
He was back on the ice yesterday, this time for an hour. With assistant coaches Dallas Eakins, Randy Ladouceur and goaltending coach Steve McKichan looking on, Kaberle joined Travis Green, Kris Newbury, Alexander Steen, Michael Peca, John Pohl, Wade Belak and goalie J-S Aubin for the optional off-day workout.
Kaberle's frustration was evident early when he mishandled the puck while doing a shootout drill against Aubin, causing the veteran defenceman, in a moment of disappointment, to slam it off the boards.
But by the time the workout was coming to an end, he was laughing and flashing the odd slick move his teammates have been accustomed to seeing over the years.
"I have to get the feel of being back out there again when we played some four-on-four," he said. "I don't feel too bad, just a little tired. It probably will take a few days to get back into game shape."
He still has no idea when he might see game action. In fact, he admitted for the second consecutive day that "I'm not myself."
Kaberle was asked to elaborate about that comment.
"It's tough to explain," he said. "I just don't.
"All the (media) questions give me more headaches than the (hit) did. Luckily I don't have any headaches.
"I'll know when I'm ready to play. I just know if we were playing (today), I couldn't."
Kaberle also set the record straight concerning any more impending MRIs.
"I've already had one and it came out fine," he said. "I'm working with the best in the business on this."
While Kaberle continues to rehab, Janssen's Devils prepare to meet the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre next Tuesday.
Will Kaberle be ready to come back by that time?