Jason Zucker missed the Pittsburgh Penguins’ regular-season finale last Friday, and most of their next-to-last game, too.
And he won’t be in their lineup when they open Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, either.
But after having a vigorous on-ice workout at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex before his teammates practiced Monday, Zucker might be ready to return sooner than many have been expecting.
“It’s real significant (that he’s resumed skating),” coach Mike Sullivan said. “There is a chance that his timetable could be accelerated. The fact that he’s on the ice is a big step.
“We’ll go from there, but we’re certainly encouraged that he’s back on the ice.”
Zucker left the Penguins’ 5-1 loss to Edmonton last Tuesday late in the first period because of an unspecified lower-body injury.
He appeared in just 41 games during the regular season, with most of his man-games lost resulting from core-muscle surgery.
He finished with eight goals and nine assists in 41 games, with only one of those goals in his final seven games.