Ryan Kesler didn’t sound like he’s close to returning to the lineup.

As much as Alain Vigneault marvelled at how good the Vancouver Canucks centre looked Wednesday — taking part in his second practice after being medically cleared for light contact following offseason left shoulder and wrist surgeries — the former Selke Trophy winner offered a more reserved assessment.

“I’ve had a couple of good days of practice and I’m just going from there,” said Kesler. “There are areas out there where I don’t feel comfortable, so there’s no timeline at all. Until I feel that comfort level and feel I can step in and contribute the way I can, I’ll be playing then.

“The wrist gets achy once in a while, but nothing out of the ordinary. The shoulder is the biggest thing. I have to make sure it’s 100-per-cent and the range of motion is there, but strength isn’t there at all. Once we get home, I’m really going to hammer that and take it day by day.”

Last season, Kesler was cleared for light contact after summer surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip and returned to the lineup in just 14 days. He laboured through stiffness and soreness and struggled to score 22 goals.

“I made the mistake before and I won’t make it again,” he stressed.

Vigneault seemed more hopeful, although he understands Kesler has yet to be medically cleared to play.

“To me, he looks real good on the ice and doing everything out there that a player can possibly do,” said the Canucks coach. “I’m not sure exactly where they are on the medical side. I don’t get involved until a player comes to me and the medical staff has cleared him to play. I don’t know what to tell you. On the ice, it doesn’t look like baby steps. It looks like leaps and bounds.”



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