Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - Although he's back skating seven weeks following surgery, and though his club has a commanding edge in their opening- round playoff series, Flames defenseman Mark Giordano still isn't close to returning.
On Thursday, hours before Calgary had a chance to close out the Canucks in Vancouver during Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal, coach Bob Hartley put to rest any thought of a comeback this year.
"He's a worker so I'm not surprised he's doing so well," Hartley said after practice. "At the same time, he's not close. I know it's fun for our group to see our captain get on the ice. But at the same time, we'll stay calm. We always go with our medical staff. They make the call."
Giordano, the Flames' captain, underwent surgery in early March to repair a torn biceps tendon, which looked like a crippling blow for a team battling for a playoff spot in the crowded Western Conference. However, Calgary not only gained a postseason slot, it is one win away from advancing to the next round for the first time since 2004.
At the time of his injury, he shared the team lead and was tied for second among all defenseman in points. He finished the 2014-15 campaign with 11 goals and 37 assists in 61 games.