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Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson hopes to start skating in 2-3 weeks


OTTAWA — While most of his teammates were set to tee off in the Senators' annual charity golf tournament Monday, captain Erik Karlsson was sporting flip-flops and talking about his recovery from foot surgery.

Doctors repaired the torn tendons in Karlsson's left foot and inserted an artificial tendon during the procedure last June. The star defenceman is still limited to open-toed footwear and his timeline for a return remains uncertain.

"Obviously I haven't started skating yet and I don't know when that will be," he said. "Probably in the next two, three weeks depending on how things go. Overall, (I'm) not too worried about where I'm at or how it's looking right now. Everything is pretty much going as expected."

The Senators open training camp Thursday and will skate for the first time Friday.

Karlsson figures once he resumes skating, he might need at least two more weeks to get into "skating shape." The 27-year-old added the artificial tendon feels a little strange and will require an adjustment period. 

"It's a weird feeling," he said. "It's never going to feel like it did before. That's going to be my new normal."

Karlsson also said he plans to take whatever time is necessary to get back into top form.

"Whenever I'm 100 per cent I'm going to come back and play, whether that is in October or November, for me it's not going to make a difference," said Karlsson. "When I do decide to come back it's going to be 100 per cent and it's not going to be an injury I'm going to have to battle with for the next two or three years."

One positive for the Senators is that he'll be well-rested when he returns. 

"Timing-wise the injury didn't come at that bad of a time for me," said Karlsson. "I felt like at the end of last (season) I was pretty worn down and I was going to need some extra time off to get back to where I wanted to go.

"I feel rested, I feel fine and my body's going to be able to take the pounding that it's going to be able to endure for this season coming up."

Also Monday, goaltender Craig Anderson said he has been keeping a close eye on hurricane Irma as his off-season home is near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was relieved the storm didn't hit the area as hard as expected, but added it's hard not to think about the number of friends who are dealing with the aftermath.

The 36-year-old netminder is entering the final year of his contract. Anderson's agent is expected to meet with Senators general manager Pierre Dorion later this month.  

"I want to keep playing as long as I can contribute in a positive manner," said Anderson. "At this point, after what happened last year and what I went through and how I was able to come back I know I've got a lot left in the tank."

While Anderson's age might be a factor for some, Dorion doesn't really see it as an issue. 

"He started being a No. 1 late in his career so he's got a lot of years left in him," said Dorion.

Notes: The Senators signed forward Chris VandeVelde to a professional tryout agreement with an invitation to training camp.

Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press

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