Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rowney Steps toward Return

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rowney Steps toward Return

Article excerpt

Penguins forward Carter Rowney took one step toward returning to the lineup when he joined the team for its morning skate Saturday before a game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Rowney was in a white, no-contact jersey and said he didn't have a timetable for his return - he has missed the past 12 games with a fractured hand - but he said it felt good to get back, even in a limited capacity.

"I think today was a good step," Rowney said. "I've been making progress here these last couple of days, and it was good to be back out today with the team."

Rowney got hurt blocking a shot in the Penguins' 7-1 loss Oct. 21 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was ruled out for at least four weeks at the time.

"It was unfortunate where it got me," Rowney said. "I'm lucky enough that I've been progressing and hope to be back soon."

Because it was a hand injury, Rowney said he only had to take two days off the ice. Since then, he has been skating regularly on his own.

Saturday morning, though, gave him a chance to start getting back in rhythm with his teammates. He said he had no problems handling the puck, making passes or taking shots.

"I think the last few days, I've been able to handle the puck well," Rowney said. "It's not really limiting me right now, and I think today was a good step in the right direction. I'll take it one step at a time now."

As for when he might return, the Penguins generally require players coming back from injury to go through at least one full-contact practice before being upgraded to "game-time decision" and put back in the lineup.

"I've got to talk it over with the medical staff and the doctors, see what the next step is," Rowney said. "For right now I'm kind of limited out there on the ice, no contact.

"Just trying to get the pace of the game back, try and get inserted back with the team and get my legs under me with the team, doing the drills and the full practice."

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