It may only be a crack, but Erik Karlsson has left the door open to the possibility of his return this season.

Five weeks after his Achilles Tendon was sliced by Matt Cooke’s skate in Pittsburgh, Karlsson told reporters during the first intermission of Monday’s game his recovery is “on schedule,” even though others remain amazed at how the Norris Trophy holder is currently getting around.

“It’s going well ... baby steps,” said Karlsson. “But I think overall, it’s been feeling pretty good ever since it happened, and I can feel this going forward.”

Asked when he might try skating again, Karlsson spoke of patience.

“Tough to say right now,” he said. “As of now, it’s going to be awhile. Anything can happen, anything can change, but right now we’re not aiming for a certain date or anything. We’re just trying to make it feel better and get everything back to normal.”

And when asked if there was a chance he could return in the playoffs, Karlsson wouldn’t say no.

“Obviously the guys have been playing great, and obviously that helps my motivation,” he said. “It keeps me going forward and looking forward to going into the playoffs. And if that time comes, it’s going to be a decision (by them), but right now we don’t really aim for playing this year.”

Said a teammate earlier in the day: “I know he isn’t supposed to play until next season, but the guy is so young and he just never ceases to amaze you.”

Karlsson will be back in No. 65 before the summer. Just watch.