Important Milestone for Vasilevskiy On Road To Return

He was originally supposed to be out for eight-to-ten weeks. And maybe that'll still be the case. But it certainly didn't look like it as Andrei Vasilevskiy recently hit the ice at practice for the Tampa Bay Lightning, just one month out from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.

Apparently, the session was deemed "a light on-ice workout as part of his rehabilitation," per Kristie Ackert of the Tampa Bay Times. But he sure looked limber in the few seconds of leaked video (above).

“It’s really nice to see a guy getting closer … to getting back on the ice kind of skating and improving,” defenseman Erik Cernak said. “He’s a big part of our team, so we can’t wait to have him back.”

“It’s great to have him out there, but again, it’s not speeding up his recovery. It’s just now he’s with our team a lot more, which is the best part because he’s actually a great guy to be around,” head coach Jon Cooper said. 

The timeline for the star goalie's return is still set around Thanksgiving. But we wouldn't bet against something just a tad sooner. 

One reason not to rush it, however, is that backup Jonas Johansson has thus far done a stellar job in the Big Cat's stead, posting a 4-1-3 mark with a 2.73 GAA and a .922 save percentage. 

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports