Big Updates On Panthers Injured Pair Aaron Ekblad & Brandon Montour

The Florida Panthers have been playing without their two best defensemen thus far this season, and while there's still some time before Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour return, they both took a huge step on Sunday to that end. 

Both players are returning from offseason shoulder surgeries, and both have returned to full practice for the first time, though in non-contact jerseys. They'll even accompany the Panthers on this week's road trip.

Head coach Paul Maurice suggested that they could both beat their original mid-December timelines for a return, indicating that the pair could be back by the end of November, perhaps around Thanksgiving.

“There’s a window,” Maurice said. “I think their injuries were kind of four-to-six month windows. There’s a five-month window, so the doctors would have to sign off, but they’re closing in, over the next two-and-a-half weeks, from possibly being available toward the end of the month.”

The Panthers are 4-3-0 to start the season, and will try to hang in for another few weeks until the pair hopefully return. 

Photo: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports