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Malkin skates for first time since injury

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Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006

There is still no timetable for Penguins center Evgeni Malkin's return from a dislocated shoulder, but the 20-year-old has started skating again.

Malkin skated with assistant coach Andre Savard for about a half hour before practice Friday and after the Penguins' 4-3, overtime loss to the Sabres, accompanied the team to Buffalo, where he will skate again today.

"There's no ice (at Mellon Arena today), so he's going to come and skate on his own (today) after practice and continue his rehab with (trainers Chris Stewart and Scott Adams today) in Buffalo, so it will be good," general manager Ray Shero said last night. "Plus, it'll be good for him to get back on the road with the guys."

Yesterday was the first time Malkin skated since he collided with teammate John LeClair in his preseason debut Sept. 20. Malkin suffered a dislocation more commonly seen in car accidents than hockey games after he flipped over LeClair along the end boards.

"That was almost like a car accident," Shero said.

Malkin saw an NHL Players' Association doctor Monday, and the doctor didn't recommend surgery.

"He's making good progress, which is great," Shero said. "He's pretty much pain free, so now, it's a matter of strengthening the muscles and so forth -- and a matter of time.

"We're certainly not going to push it or rush it, but it's good when you have an injury like that just to get on the ice, feel the puck and get your legs."

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