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Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mike Smith is back on the ice

31

July

A bit of good news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as goaltender Mike Smith is back on the ice for the first time since Jan. 30, when he acknowledged post-concussion syndrome with which he had played since early December.

"Smitty skated this week and did as well as expected being off the ice for six months," Lightning trainer Tommy Mulligan said in a text message. "He will continue to progress for the rest of the summer, and we will continue to closely monitor him. Overall, a good first week back on the ice."

Smith is one of the keys for the Lightning next season, and the team has been consistent in its assessment that he will be ready for training camp. Smith had not skated since a Jan. 30 game against the Flyers. Since then he has admitted he had been experiencing post-concussion symptoms since an early December game against Philly during which he was run over and kneed in the head by former teammate VinnyProspal.

Smith skated this week in Toronto at a camp run by his personal goaltending coach, Jon Elkin. Mulligan said Smith saw shots.

"He did see shots each day," Mulligan texted.

It was a good step forward for Smith and the Lightning, whose two goalies have lots to prove. Smith, obviously, has to show he has overcome the post-concussion syndrome. Backup Antero Niittymaki has to prove his surgically repaired hips can withstand the rigors of a season.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:39pm]

    

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