Travis Zajac Cleared by Doctors: Will Return Soon
Travis Zajac skated on his own last week after being cleared by doctors and appears to be making progress with his surgically repaired achilles tendon. Though Zajac said skating was easier than walking earlier this year, getting back on the ice a big step toward seeing the top-line center on the ice for the first time.
Lou Lamoriello seemed pleased with Zajac’s progress according to NHL.com.
“Travis has been released by the doctors and is in town and skated [Tuesday and Wednesday] and will continue to do that for the next week and a half to two weeks,” Lamoriello said. “If everything is on schedule as it has been, he’ll start practicing with the team in two weeks. Everything to this point has been exactly the way the doctors predicted it would be, and it feels good…”
If everything going “exactly how doctors predicted it would be” isn’t “status quo”, I don’t know what is. If he practices in two weeks and conditions for a few more, he’s on track for a return in 2011.
The Devils need their top center as soon as possible. Aside from the chemistry developed with Zach Parise over the last few years, Zajac gives the Devils depth up the middle. With Jacob Josefson out with a broken collar bone, the Devils have been experimenting with Parise and Patrik Elias playing center. Zajac will give the Devils offense stability.
Patrik Elias leads the team with a point-per-game pace, 8 goals and 11 assists. The next closest Devils have 11 each. In two complete seasons from 2008 to 2010 Travis Zajac scored 129 points for platoff Devils teams.
Zajac broke Ken Daneyko’s team record for consecutive game’s played before missing the start of this season but otherwise, last year was certainly a bit of a down season. The New Jersey iron-man was without Zach Parise. In a new system, with a new coach and more wins, Zajac should see more success when he returns.