Drury nears return to Rangers lineup

After knee surgery, captain happy to be skating and practicing again

Tuesday, 04.05.2011 / 5:36 PM / News
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By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.com

At the same time Rangers alternate captain Ryan Callahan was being diagnosed with a fractured ankle on Tuesday, Blueshirts captain Chris Drury was taking to the ice with 11 other Rangers for an optional skate at the MSG Training Center.

It marked the fourth straight day that Drury was skating, as he continues his rehab following knee surgery in early February.

“I felt good (on Monday) and was really happy that I woke up today, felt good, and was able to push it again,” said Drury. “It gets to a certain point that you just can’t ride a bike any more. It gets pretty old. I feel like I have gotten pretty good at the cardio machines this year, so it’s nice to be back out there with the guys again.”

Rangers captain Chris Drury is eager to get back in the lineup but says he won't allow himself to be there until he knows he is 100 percent ready to play.
Drury reported that his goal is to feel better every day as opposed to pinpointing a specific return date to the lineup. He also emphasized that he can not rush back from his knee injury just because the Rangers have lost one of their most important forwards in Callahan.

“That doesn’t do anybody any good (to return too quickly),” said Drury. “We are aiming to be playing for a long time here. That’s our goal. So (Callahan’s injury) can’t be a factor on when I come back. Right now it’s just day by day.”

On Tuesday Drury took part in group drills, including a quick-skating 3-on-3 play, with his Rangers teammates. He then remained on the ice long after the other players headed to the showers, first working on conditioning drills with assistant coach Mike Sullivan and then shooting on backup goaltender Chad Johnson.

Unfortunately, this is the third major injury Drury has had to fight back from this season. He broke his hand twice -- the first time on the first day of training camp -- and then was forced to undergo knee surgery for what Rangers head coach John Tortorella called “wear and tear”.

Drury has appeared in a career-low 23 games so far this season due to the injuries, recording four assists along the way.

“I just want to be able to practice tomorrow, that’s my mindset,” said Drury. “I am not getting too far ahead of myself in thinking about games or anything like that. I just want to put one good day together and then follow it up the next day.”