BRIDGEPORT -- The whole upper-body-injury experience was new to Andrey Pedan, and not the new kind of experience you need as a rookie professional hockey defenseman.
Sitting out over two months was awful. But he has been skating for a couple of weeks, and on Tuesday, he took his first full practice with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers since he last played on Nov. 11.
"It feels great to be with the guys," Pedan said after practice at the Wonderland of Ice. "I'm having some fun. It's awesome. It's pretty hard missing two months. It's always nice to get back."
Pedan remains in a red no-contact jersey for now. There's no timetable on when he'll get back to resume a rookie season that showed some promise -- judging by the constant inquiries on social media, he has intrigued a lot of fans of the New York Islanders and the Sound Tigers -- and showed, like most young defensemen, there was work to do.
"We'll see how he does day to day," Bridgeport coach Scott Pellerin said.
It'll be up to team doctors and trainer Dave Stickney to make the call as he gets re-acclimated to the pace of practice after a long time doing little or nothing.
"No headaches, nothing," Pedan said. "I'm getting back in shape.
"I'm just staying on the ice a little longer, more workouts. Overall, I'm just excited to get back."
Pedan's big step toward a return was just one part of a newsy practice Tuesday.
Although captain Chris Bruton remains out injured, Johan Sundstrom practiced with full contact Tuesday for the first time in six weeks, coming back from an illness. Sundstrom had been targeted to return Friday, but Pellerin said that next weekend now seems more likely.
Bridgeport released forward Matt Lowry from his tryout; Pellerin said he didn't expect many lineup changes, and Lowry, a healthy scratch the last two games, needed to play with Evansville (ECHL).
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