Senators getting Alfredsson back just in time for trip

As the Ottawa Senators start a stint that will see them play six straight games, and nine of their next 10, on road, there was no better news they could have got than that Daniel Alfredsson’s return is imminent.
For the first time since he suffered a concussion on Oct. 29 after being hit in the head by Ranger left wing Wojtek Wolski, Alfredsson skated with the team on Wednesday morning.
The next step on the road back will be at least one full practice, probably two, before pronouncing himself ready to return.
That would seem to point to a return on Saturday in Toronto against the Maple Leafs. It would be the perfect tonic for frustrated Leaf fans: they’d have someone to boo other than their own team.
“He looks good and it’s nice to see him back on the ice,” said Jason Spezza.
“It’s always a good sign when a guy comes back from a head injury and is able to skate for a couple of days in a row.
“But I’m sure he’s going to make sure he’s 100 per cent before he comes back.”
With Alfredsson back, the Senators instantly become a team that is more of an offensive threat. Without him to anchor the second line, the Senators are basically a one-line team: Spezza, Milan Michalek, and Colin Greening.
“He gives you another line that has credibility right away and has the ability to score,” said coach Paul MacLean.
“We have other players that are in that spot right now, who are younger players. They’re learning to play in the league and it’s a little more difficult for them.
“But Daniel can come in right away and give you some offence.”
Alfredsson said he was only so-so last weekend but got progressively better when the trainers started working on his neck on Sunday. He did the baseline neuropsychological testing that’s required by NHL protocol on Tuesday, and the results indicated he was free of symptoms.
“It seemed like it was coming from the neck and that relieved a lot of the pressure,” said Alfredsson.
“Since Sunday, I’ve been doing more, riding the bike, skating, and it’s been good. I haven’t had any issues since Sunday.”
Asked repeatedly and in various forms when he thought he might be back, he said he had no idea and planned to take his recovery on a day-by-day basis.
If he doesn’t play in either Buffalo or Toronto, his return will be on Tuesday in Calgary.
“Obviously this is little different than any other injury I’ve ever had,” he said.
“So I want to make sure I feel good. But so far it’s been great and we’ll go from there.”

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