After missing five games in his first three full seasons, Sharks center Logan Couture has missed 58 games since the start of the 2013-14 season with various injuries.
His latest is causing him to gradually work his way back.
Couture skated after the team's practice on Friday, his first time back on the ice since suffering a concussion in San Jose's December 15 game against the Vancouver Canucks. Afterwards, he was quick to ensure he won't be getting ahead of himself.
"There's a lot of stuff that has to happen to come back," Couture told reporters on Friday (via The Mercury News). "You can't just skate and then say you're fine."
The 28-year-old cleared an important hurdle on Friday, but stressed that he won't play if he's not feeling up to it.
"It's a long ways away," he said. "It's all about how I react to doing this today, so it's a day-by-day thing, and we'll just take the next step when it comes."
Couture is San Jose's leading scorer, and his team-leading 15 goals are six clear of the next closest player, Tomas Hertl. The Sharks are 1-1-0 in Couture's absence.
He was not the only injured center to return to the ice on Friday. Barclay Goodrow, who has not played since December 7, also skated after practice, and head coach Peter DeBoer told reporters that the 24-year-old could practice with the team in full when they return from the Christmas break on December 27.