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KRIS VERSTEEG: Working for Opening Night

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Kris Versteeg was on the ice with the rest of the veteran throng in Coral Springs on Thursday as he works his way back from having major surgery on his right knee last year.

Versteeg told us last spring that he didn't expect to be ready until November; since he's been skating for the past month, it appears the timeline has been moved up a notch.

"It's a long process but my goal is to be ready for the start of the season,'' Versteeg said.

"I guess we'll see how training camp goes. I don't want to go into a regular season game without knowing what training camp is like. I think I'll be there for most of it. That's my goal.''

As for him saying November...

"That was about three weeks after surgery,'' Versteeg said. "I had no idea on timelines or what exactly the progression of the ligament is. That was an annoying time for me mentally because you put in so much work and don't see anything happening.

"Then around months four and five, you see it all coming together. The past three months have been very positive for me. That's why I think things have changed.''

That would be huge for the Panthers. Dale Tallon told us yesterday that everyone is ahead of schedule on the rehab scale. We'll see how things progress when physicals are taken next week.

Ed Jovanovski was out there today as well.

PHOTO/JOE RIMKUS JR., Miami Herald Staff

KRIS VERSTEEG: Working for Opening Night