Phaneuf goes for long skate Monday


, Last Updated: 10:31 PM ET

WASHINGTON Dion Phaneuf went for a morning skate on Monday and liked how it felt so much he kept on going.

The Maple Leafs captain is likely still a week away from returning to action, but said hes ahead of schedule in his recovery from a nasty cut thats kept him out of the lineup since Nov. 2.

After a full practice with the team on Sunday, Phaneuf skated for an hour and 15 minutes, staying on the Verizon Center ice long after the teams game day skate was completed.

Its more me getting back to where I need to play, Phaneuf said between periods Monday. Its not easy being out as long as Ive been. Its not something you just skate once and say you are ready.

Ive had two good skates with the team and Ill go have a good practice tomorrow and see where that takes us.

Phaneuf didnt want to predict when he might return, but he is clearly getting the itch as his team continues to struggle.