While Thrashers training camp continues, Kari Lehtonen continues to recover from off-season back surgery. I caught up with the goaltender at the team’s facility today.
Lehtonen was originally not expected to miss training camp, but now team officials are saying his return is not imminent. Lehtonen told me he expects to be back before the end of camp. That will be the story for Wednesday’s paper.
“I feel a lot better than I did a couple of weeks ago,” Lehtonen said Tuesday. “The first four or five weeks were very, very slow. With my back getting better, I wasn’t able to do much. Now, the last two weeks I’ve been able to, first, live normally, and now I’ve got the OK from the doctor to start working hard. It’s been holding up great and that’s a great thing.”
Lehtonen also said he regrets not having the surgery sooner. However he and the team thought an off-season epidural cleared up any issues that lingered from the injury suffered in October.
Stay tuned to see if he is able to return by the end of camp. The season opener is only weeks away.