Penguins' Kasparaitis Returns


Only a few weeks after learning that he might miss the NHL season because of a knee injury, defenseman Darius Kasparaitis was practicing again Monday with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Kasparaitis, who has been rehabilitating his injured right knee, shed his no-contact jersey and participated in the team's regular workout.

"We generally put our injured players in jersey colors different than the rest of the team to remind the other players to be a little less physical on those guys in practice, but (Kasparaitis) refused to wear one of those," Penguins coach Kevin Constantine said.

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"That's an indication in his mind that he's getting close to being ready, so it'll be pretty soon. That's amazing and a quick recovery, but that's not surprising because he keeps himself so fit that his ability to recover from injuries is quicker than most people."

Kasparaitis, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament one month ago in a preseason game, decided not to have surgery on the knee.

"I think I have to skate like that for one more week and, if everything goes well, then I'll probably play next week," Kasparaitis said.

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