Centre Mike Zigomanis, the Pittsburgh Penguins' best faceoff man before he injured his right rotator cuff in early December, has medical clearance to resume playing.
Zigomanis, from North York, Ont., had surgery in mid-January and was expected to need a recovery period of six months or more.
But he received the medical staff's approval to return almost two months ahead of schedule.
It's likely the Penguins coaching staff has at least considered the possibility of dressing Zigomanis, especially after the team lost 39 of 55 faceoffs (71 per cent) during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final last Saturday.
That still appears to be a long shot at this point, considering he hasn't played a game since Dec. 3.
Zigomanis, however, would jump at the opportunity to resume playing.
"I think anybody would love it," he said. "I'd like to get back. It's kind of tough watching all year."
The 28-year-old had two goals, four assists and a 62.9 per cent success rate at the faceoff dot in 22 games during the regular season.