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Video: Pens’ Olli Maatta returns to practice

New York Rangers  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 4: Olli Maatta #3 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New York Rangers in Game Two of the Second Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 4, 2014 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Jamie Sabau

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta returned to the practice ice on Tuesday just seven days after having a potentially cancerous tumor removed from his thyroid gland.

Maatta skated on his own at MSG on Tuesday morning following the team’s morning skate.

The 20-year-old was initially expected to miss four weeks following surgery.

Penguins head coach Mike Johnston did not say Maatta is ahead of schedule.

“We’ll see what happens as far as a timeline goes for him participating with the whole team, but it really is amazing how he handles things,” Johnston said per “I just think for a young kid it’s more the mental side of things, how mature he is and how he’s able to deal with issues like that.”

Originally a first-round pick of the Penguins at the 2012 NHL Draft, Maattaa has a goal and six points while averaging 20 minutes a night.

“He’s an amazing individual,” Johnston said. “You see what he’s gone through and how he handles things, mentally and physically, it doesn’t surprise me.”

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