The Canadiens’ Andrei Markov and his sore right knee were the main talking points as the team gathered for physicals and fitness testing Friday.
The bothersome twice-rebuilt joint is still too swollen for the 33-year-old Russian to play at full speed and to practice with his teammates, but he’s not overly concerned about it.
“The healing is good . . . the doctor said it’s normal to have swelling,” said Markov, who has experienced tightness in the knee, but no major discomfort.
If it were up to him, he’d strap the equipment on for Saturday’s on-ice drills, but that’s not going to happen.
“I want to be sure I’m ready to come back,” said Markov, who had two reconstructive surgeries in eight monhts and only played a handful of games last season.
He admitted that it’s been a struggle to stay positive during his lengthy rehabilitation, but that there’s no point in rushing the process.
Markov added that because the surgery he underwent last December at Dr. James Andrews’s clinic in Alabama was a different procedure than the one he had in May of 2010, the physiotherapy program has also been different and is focused on building up a different part of his leg.
“It’s getting better every day,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll be better for the first game of the season.”
Quoth teammate Hal Gill: “I wish I could just go give him the Miyagi treatment, but I can’t.”
A Karate Kid reference on the first day of camp? Gill’s already in mid-season form.