Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux is back on the ice ahead of schedule, having undergone surgery to repair right hip and bilateral lower abdominal muscle tears on May 17.
Flyers equipment manager Derek Settlemyre posted a video of Giroux skating for the first time since the operation, a week ahead of the initial estimate of a 10-12 week recovery period.
Giroux registered 22 goals and 67 points in 78 games last season, but contributed just one assist in six playoff games as the Flyers were eliminated by the Washington Capitals in the first round.
The Flyers offense faced much criticism for the defeat, having been shut out twice while scoring just six goals during the entire series. Giroux insisted he was not suffering from any health issues which would impact his performance during the match up, but many reporters remained sceptical, and the 28-year-old went under the knife shortly after.
Originally selected in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Flyers, the Hearst, Ontario native has played 574 games for the organisation during the course of nine seasons, picking up 166 goals and 517 points. He has twice scored at greater than a point-per-game pace, firstly in 2011-12 (93 points in 77 games) and again in 2013-14 (86 points in 82 games). He also registered 48 points in 48 games during the truncated 2012-13 campaign.
Giroux still has six seasons remaining on his current contract, with an annual cap hit of $8.275 million through to its expiration in 2022.
He was named to Team Canada’s roster for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, and was a member of the gold-medal winning side at the 2015 IIHF World Championships.