Marc Savard, symptom-free for over a week, skated on his own for the first time this morning and said he felt like his old self.
"I feel great," Savard said. "The biggest thing is that over the last seven days, I've had some great days."
Savard passed an exertion test yesterday. Savard plans to skate on his own again tomorrow morning, then undergo a neuro-psych test in the afternoon. If Savard passes, he will be cleared to return to practice, although he wasn't sure if he'd jump in with his teammates right away. Once he passes the test, it will be up to Savard and the training staff to determine when he's physically ready for game action.
"If you're asking me that, I'd like to play tonight," said Savard when asked if he could play in this series. "I've got to be realistic here and take the proper steps. I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful."
Savard acknowledged he's still not close to game shape, considering he hasn't been involved in any physical activity for over a month.
"He's been out for six weeks," Claude Julien said. "He's not been able to exercise. If you're going to be fair to the player and fair to the team, we've got to give him a chance to get back into shape. That doesn't happen overnight. That's why we've got to take it one step at a time and see how he does. Hopefully he continues to get better. The quicker it is, the better it is for everyone."
Savard admitted that approximately two weeks ago, when he was still experiencing headaches and fatigue, he didn't believe he'd be back this season. But on April 10, after receiving the OK to do so, Savard putted for 30 minutes at Granite Links, then went out again the next day.
"Maybe two weeks ago, I had it in my head that I was writing it off," Savard said. "I wasn't feeling better. I had a lot of negative thoughts, which wasn't good. My last doctor visit wasn't the greatest because of that."