DETROIT (AP)—Detroit Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Oct. 20, hopes to be back in the lineup Saturday when they play host to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"For sure the next game after that," Chelios said Tuesday after skating lightly during practice. "I had no intention of going back (on the ice) for another four or five days, but I felt I might as well get my wind."
Chelios twisted the knee Oct. 17 while trying to block a shot against St. Louis. He originally was expected to miss six or seven games, and he wasn't expected to begin skating again until next week.
Chelios said he was surprised how quickly the knee has responded.
"For the first time out, it feels really good," he told The Detroit News. "Right now, I honestly find it hard to believe I had pain like I had before (surgery)."
Coach Scotty Bowman is being cautious, however.
"It's an amazing recovery," he said. "But we'll go slow with it. He wanted to try some skating. I would think he'd be able to play soon, but I don't know about going back to back."
Chelios said he would leave the decision to play to doctors and coaches.
"I told them I feel good," he said. "The important thing is there's no swelling. And if you keep the swelling away and you get range of motion back, you can go out there and hope for the best."
Chelios is in his 14th NHL season. He was traded to the Red Wings by Chicago in March 1999. In his first full season with Detroit, he had three goals and 31 assists.
Image courtesy of DetroitRedWings.com