Werenski hopes to be ready for Blue Jackets' season opener
After undergoing shoulder surgery in the spring, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski is hoping to avoid missing the start of the 2018-19 regular season.
"My goal, ultimately, is to be there for Game 1," the 21-year-old told Brian Hedger of BlueJackets.com. "You never want to miss time, you never want to miss games, so my goal going into training camp and into the season is to be ready for Game 1.
"If it's later, like Game 5 or Game 10, whenever that is, I'm going to work to miss as few games as possible and be ready to help the team."
Werenski had the surgery on May 3 to repair a lingering injury that he played through for the majority of the 2017-18 campaign. He still managed to set a career high with 16 goals, but produced 10 fewer points (37) than during his impressive rookie campaign.
For now, Werenski has begun skating but hasn't progressed to contact drills.
"I feel great out there," he said. "There's no problems right now. I'm just kind of ramping it up here, trying to get my timing back. Everything feels good on the ice. I haven't had any contact yet. That's not until later. I probably won't do that until probably halfway through training camp, but everything is good. Everything's on pace. I actually don't know what my timeline is, to be honest, but I'm hoping to be back toward the start of training camp - probably not Day 1, but as soon as I can be."
The Blue Jackets will open the 2018-19 season on Oct. 4 when they clash with the Detroit Red Wings.
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