Canucks' Ilya Mikheyev practises for first time since knee surgery

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Ilya Mikheyev’s long journey back to health is nearly over.

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The Vancouver Canucks winger joined his teammates Tuesday at the University of B.C. for a full practice for the first time since January.

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He’d skated in a non-contact jersey in Victoria on the weekend, but on Tuesday he was wearing a resplendent red jersey, denoting he was an option for Elias Pettersson’s line.

Andrei Kuzmenko and Nils Höglander, who have been skating with Pettersson since training camp opened last Thursday, were also in red.

Mikheyev did drills with the Pettersson group, but didn’t take part in line rushes.

He wasn’t made available for interviews after practice, as the Canucks said he hadn’t been cleared to be a full participant by the team’s medical staff.

Kuzmenko grinned as he came off the ice and was asked about having Mikheyev back in action, even just partly.

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“This is good,” he said. “I like this.”

Russian players, Andrey Kuzmenko (left) and Ilya Mikheyev (right) at Canucks training camp in Whister, on Sept. 22, 2022. Photo by Patrick Johnston.
Russian players, Andrey Kuzmenko (left) and Ilya Mikheyev (right) at Canucks training camp in Whistler on Sept. 22, 2022. Photo by Patrick Johnston

J.T. Miller was also pleased to see the speedy Mikheyev getting close to a full return.

“He’s been a big part of our team,” he said. “We definitely need them. And we’re hoping he gets back as soon as possible, whenever that is.”

Mikheyev hurt his knee a year ago in the first game of the 2022-23 pre-season but continued to play until the middle of the season, when he was shut down and went under the knife to repair a torn ACL in his right knee in early February.

He was expected to skate from the opening of training camp in a non-contact jersey but was delayed after a family issue arose and he had to return to Vancouver.

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