Callahan takes 'first step' toward return

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Injured Rangers captain Ryan Callahan made his first significant step toward a return since sustaining a shoulder injury last week.

The 27-year-old forward practiced with the team Monday morning -- albeit in a yellow noncontact jersey -- and tested his shoulder with shooting drills for the first time since sustaining the injury in a fight with Flyers forward Max Talbot last Tuesday.

“I think today was a big day just to start shooting,” Callahan said. “It’s the most work I’ve done with it, so I’m going to see how it reacts tomorrow and the rest of the day today. It’s the first step of me coming back.”

Callahan said he feels he is “on track” for the original timetable of recovery, roughly 10 to 14 days, but will need to progress to contact drills in practice first.

“Before you do anything, you’ve got to see how it fares with that, and obviously I wasn’t doing any contact out there today,” he said. “That would be the next step, getting into some contact drills and see how it goes.”

The second-period scrap with Talbot that sent Callahan to the ice in obvious distress initially appeared to result in a serious injury, although it was diagnosed as a subluxation.

“The shoulder comes out and comes back in, just a strain on the muscles,” he explained. “I probably don’t have the greatest definition, to be honest with you.”

Regardless, Callahan said his game won’t change for fear of aggravating the injury in the future.

“Personally, I’m not going to change the way I play. I can’t,” he said. “It is what it is. I think if you try to change or you’re tentative, that’s when something else is gonna get hurt or you’re going to get caught in an awkward situation.

“So, nothing will change when I come back.”