Even with a knee that was surgically repaired 16 days earlier, Pascal Dupuis was bringing speed to his game Thursday.
The Penguins top-line right winger is out for the season, but he is taking aim at the fastest possible recovery. He was given a timetable of six to eight months.
“Six to eight, if you guys know me, you know I’ll be pushing for six,” Dupuis said in his first public comments being injured Dec. 23.
“It’s definitely a goal of mine. That may look and sound long, but you can’t rush healing.”
Dupuis had seven goals, 20 points in 39 games before getting hurt in the first period of a game at Ottawa. Linemate Sidney Crosby was upended by a hip check delivered by Senators defenseman Marc Methot and slammed into Dupuis.
“I’m [crouching] down there behind the net, and the ref’s first thing is he came to me and he wanted to look at my face to see if my neck or my face was cut,” Dupuis said. “[Crosby’s] skates, one hit me in the chest and one on top of the head. I guess the way he landed, he landed on the side of my leg.
“I guess Sid looked like he took the worst of it, but I’m the one crouching down behind the net. I knew it was bad just because I didn’t feel the bottom part of my leg basically. Everything felt like it was so loose that nothing was holding it.”
It was determined that Dupuis had a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Surgery for that usually takes place fairly quickly, but Dupuis’ operation was delayed because he also had a torn medial collateral ligament, and doctors wanted to try rehab on the MCL.
“I was just trying to get that part of my knee healed before going in for surgery so they didn’t have to touch it, but it didn’t heal at all,” he said. “So they had to reconstruct the MCL as well as the ACL.”
Dupuis said he will be at Consol Energy Center regularly as he recovers and rehabs. He expects to be as fast and effective as he ever was.
“Definitely coming back to 100 percent,” he said. “That’s not something I’m worried about at all.”
Shelly Anderson: email@example.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly.