Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Stars [Print without images]

Sunday, December 18, 2011
Kari Lehtonen skating, making progress

By Mark Stepneski

FRISCO -- Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen said he is making progress as he recovers from a groin injury that has kept him out of the lineup the last eight games. Lehtonen has been skating and taking shots with goaltending coach Mike Valley.

"Today was the first day I felt normal," Lehtonen said. "I skated about 45 minutes. We did some sliding and some things like that. Tomorrow we are going to try to get some reaction saves. We’ve been doing I know where the puck is going and that makes it a little bit easier. Today was awesome, it was fun."

Lehtonen was injured while stopping a shot in a November 28 game at Phoenix. The latest word from the Stars on a possible return date for the Stars' No. 1 goaltender is sometime after Christmas, and that's what Lehtonen is thinking as well.

"First I have to have a couple more days like I had today with the goalie coach and then start skating with the team," Lehtonen said. "I have to have a couple of those days and then see if I can play, and when. We haven’t talked about any dates or anything, but probably somewhere around Christmas, hopefully."