Jose Theodore slipped into his Panthers jersey Monday afternoon to join his teammates on the ice for the first time since tearing two groin muscles in Carolina on March 2.

Theodore was in full uniform for the team’s annual picture on BB&T Center ice. He hopes that wasn’t the last time.

Not only did Theodore start skating Monday for the first time since being injured, but he plans on joining the Panthers in regular practice during the final two weeks of the season.

Theodore also said he hopes to get back into game shape so he can start one of Florida’s final 10 games.

“It was good to be back in the gym, but it felt really good to be back on the ice in the equipment,” Theodore said while sitting in a stall between current Florida goalies Jacob Markstrom and Scott Clemmensen.

“My goal is to be healthy and start practicing, get a game or two in. When the summer comes and you’re training, you want that piece of mind. I want to be able to focus on training and not overthink this summer. If I can practice and play, that will get my confidence up.”

Florida coach Kevin Dineen often has spoken of his fondness for Theodore and said the team took a hit when he had to be helped off the Carolina ice with torn groin muscles.

Because Theodore didn’t need surgery, a potential return is possible.