Amid the festivities at Bellerive Country Club this week was a ceremony on Wednesday honoring Ozzie Smith as a PGA Championship Host City Champion.
To celebrate, tournament organizers brought out just about everyone they could final locally, a who's who of St. Louis sports. Among the luminaries on hand to honor Smith was one active player: Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko.
And, it appears, Tarasenko is active again.
Tarasenko separated his left shoulder in the final game of the regular season against Colorado and had surgery right after the season ended. He has resumed skating and said Wednesday he expects to be ready when camp starts in early September.
He said that his shoulder “feels fine.” Asked if he would be ready for the start of camp, he said, “I hope so. I hope so.”
At the time of the injury, it was estimated he would be out four to six months, and he's coming up on the four-month mark with a month to go till camp starts.
Tarasenko was back on the ice with teammates at the team's training facility in Hazelwood on Monday, his first time out since the injury.
“I need to talk about it with the doctors more,” he told the team's website, “but I'm cleared to skate with the group, but only with some contact right now. But I can shoot. I feel great and I feel stronger. I'm ready for the season.”
“This last 3 ½ months was pretty tough,” he told stlouisblues.com, “both mentally and physically too. Lots of rehab stuff, and it was the longest break ever between seasons (for me). But you just listen to the doctors and therapist and what they tell you and just follow the plan.”
Tarasenko led the Blues in scoring with 33 goals and was second in points with 66.
Joe Lyons of the Post-Dispatch contributed reporting.