With a straight face, the Canadiens said Friday they aren't changing the three to four weeks recovery time they attached last weekend to Max Pacioretty.

They're kidding, right?

Because Pacioretty will be back before then.

Long before then.

The 24-year-old forward skated a full 75-minute practice with his team Friday, and a warmup before that, ending the Brossard session with everyone else by doing a series of lung-searing wind sprints.

This came less than six days after Pacioretty underwent an emergency appendectomy last Saturday.

He is known to his teammates as Patch or Patchy. In fact, the Canadiens should call him Wolvie, for Marvel Comics' Wolverine, the mutant superhero whose adamantium skeleton and healing powers make him virtually indestructible.

(Coincidence? Pacioretty played for the University of Michigan Wolverines, and the comics icon is sometimes called Patch when he's in southeast Asia.)

Pacioretty was discharged from the Montreal General Hospital last Sunday about 16 hours after his surgery. On Monday, he told his wife, Katia, that he was going to the Canadiens' Brossard training facility, and she laughed, expecting nothing less.

"It's just a sick joke at this point," Katia said brightly of how her husband heals. "He's something else, this one."

Pacioretty rolled in to the team medical clinic, then the gym to chat with a few teammates.

"They thought it was a lot worse than it is," he said after Friday's practice. "They were a bit surprised to see me. Everything about the team's press release made this sound so much worse than it is.

"If people knew how good I feel right now, they wouldn't be panicking at all."