Tips' Ferraro slated to return
Five weeks after surgery, center could play Friday
That sight, of Ferraro participating fully in practice, is something both Ferraro and the Tips have been eagerly anticipating.
Ferraro has recovered fully from his hernia surgery, and barring a setback he's slated to make his return Friday at Tri-City.
"It's really nice," Ferraro said about returning to full speed. "To get back and be around the team and get to actually practice -- even get hit a bit -- it's fun."
Ferraro hasn't played since Jan. 16, when it was discovered he had been playing with a hernia. He underwent surgery to repair the hernia on Jan. 28 in Detroit. If he returns Friday, as expected, it will be five weeks to the day since he underwent the procedure.
After the surgery Ferraro was told the rehabilitation process could take anywhere from four to eight weeks, so he's managed to recover on the quicker end of the time frame.
Ferraro has been back on his skates for about two weeks. He's been able to participate fully in practices this entire week.
"I think it's gone extremely well," Ferraro said about his recovery. "Friday's five weeks from surgery and I was doing things a lot quicker than I thought I would be and was told I would be. Overall I've been pretty lucky with how everything's gone."
Most importantly, Ferraro feels ready to go physically.
"I feel good," Ferraro said. "I still need to get a bit more in shape, but that just comes with playing games. I'm in shape for practice, but games are another thing. But I feel real good and I feel like I'm going to come back and finish up strong."
Ferraro's return will be a welcome one for the Tips. The 19-year-old sniper hasn't produced the type of offensive numbers Everett was hoping when he was acquired during the offseason, notching just nine goals and 16 assists in 37 games. However, Ferraro was red hot when he was sidelined, tallying nine points in six games. His return should provide a boost to an Everett offense that scored just once in each of its past two games.
"It gives us more depth up front," Everett coach Craig Hartsburg said. "He's a guy who's supposed to provide some offense, which we've been lacking a little bit. It will be good to get some speed back in the lineup."
Prior to Ferraro's surgery Everett had sunk into last place in the Western Conference. At the time, Ferraro was just hoping to come back to meaningful games. While Ferraro was out the Tips went on something of a run, climbing into sixth -- though the Tips are still part of a five-team dogfight for the conference's final three playoff berths.
Therefore, Ferraro received his wish for a return that mattered.
"I can't really ask for anything more," Ferraro said. "I'm coming back right into playoffs pretty much. All these games we have left are against teams we're fighting against, and we've got the harder schedule of all the teams. But that's why you play. You play for the competition, where it's do or die. That's the best part of it, so I'm looking forward to it."
Ferraro isn't the only Everett player slated to return this weekend. Forward Josh Birkholz, who's missed four games because of a head injury, has been cleared to return. Also, defenseman Kieran Friesen, who's been nursing a shoulder ailment, should also be available. That leaves just winger Campbell Elynuik (shoulder) out for the weekend. ... With forwards returning to health, call-up winger Zach McPhee has been returned to the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League.
Check out Nick Patterson's Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.
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