Blue Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout is trying to balance patience with optimism but it’s not easy with training camp starting today at Nationwide Arena.

After tearing an abdominal muscle while working out this summer Prout will not join his teammates on the ice just yet. Until he’s given full clearance by doctors — he hopes next week — Prout will skate hard by himself to get his legs up to game shape.

Prout originally was expected to miss the entire preseason. Now he’s hoping to play the final two games.

“Yeah it’s really good news” Prout said. “There’s still rehab to do though. I can’t push too hard here or I’m going through it all over again.”

The fact he’s skating at this point is hard to fathom.

“My left abdominal muscle where it connects to the pelvis tore off” Prout said. “It tore off where it’s supposed to be connected.”

Prout is waiting for the “connective tissue” around the area to grow back together; there are sutures holding it together.

“The sutures are like Kevlar” he said. “You could hang an elephant from them. But you need the muscle to attach completely before you’re ready.”