Austin Madaisky, a former Kamloops Blazers defenceman who underwent wrist surgery on Nov. 21, hopes to return to game action later this month.
Madaisky, who turned 21 on Jan. 30, is under contract to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL draft. Prior to this season, with the NHL locked out, he went to training camp with the AHL's Springfield Falcons but didn't get into any games before being assigned to the ECHL's Evansville IceMen. He had five points, including a goal, in eight games when he had to shut it down due to a sore wrist that he had been trying to play through.
Subsequently, Madaisky was diagnosed with a torn scapholunate - a ligament in the wrist was fully torn - and it was repaired by a surgeon in Columbus.
After surgery, Madaisky returned home to Surrey and has been skating there. He was back in Columbus on Thursday where he was cleared by the Blue Jackets' medical staff to return to practice. He then flew to Springfield, Mass., where he will begin skating with the Falcons.
Madaisky said via text that he hasn't been cleared for contact, nor has he been shooting at full strength.
"Still have to break down a lot of the scar tissue," he said. "It's come a long way, though."
Madaisky played the previous two and a half seasons with the Blazers after having been acquired from the Calgary Hitmen. He was a Western Conference second-team all-star in 2011-12 and was eligible to return to the Blazers this season had the Blue Jackets chosen to return him.
Instead, he wants to get back into game action with the Falcons or Icemen later this month.
"I hope to be back within two weeks," he added. "Still 20-something games left."
On another note, Madaisky reports that his family is having its home in Surrey rebuilt and hopes to have it completed by June. The home was almost completely destroy by fire in the early hours of Aug. 11.