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Max Pacioretty gets back onto the ice, begins rehab

Max Pacioretty Zdeno Chara

This image from Tuesday, March 8, 2011 shows Montreal Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty hitting his head on the glass partition between the benches on a hard check from Boston Bruins’ Zdeno Chara (33) during second period NHL hockey action in Montreal. A Quebec prosecutor wants police to investigate the hit by Chara that sent Pacioretty to the hospital with a fractured vertebra and severe concussion. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)


The Zdeno Chara hit looked so scary that many thought that Max Pacioretty’s career might have been over, even if Mark Recchi said the Montreal Canadiens “embellished” his injuries. The Canadiens released word that Pacioretty was back on the ice today, only three weeks after that frightening collision left him with a concussion and a broken vertebra.

(Some might think that this is an April Fool’s Day prank, but reputable sources such as TSN pass this note along. It is surprising enough that such a reaction seems natural, though.)

The on-ice workout reportedly lasted about 20 minutes, as Pacioretty skated with fellow injured player Andrei Markov along with Habs strength coach Pierre Allard, according to TSN.

Before fans label Recchi as some kind of soothsayer, it’s important to note that there’s a big difference between skating on the ice and actually playing in an NHL game again. That being said, this marks the beginning of his rehabilitation, according to Canadiens coach Jacques Martin.

It would be an amazing story if Pacioretty was able to come back during the playoffs, but the resumption of his career in general would be nice to see even if he doesn’t make it back until 2011-12. Naturally, we’ll keep you updated either way.