Patrick Sharp anxious to return

CHICAGO -- In his first public remarks since undergoing an emergency appendectomy Sept. 12, Chicago Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp said Saturday he hopes to be ready for the first game of the season.

"I'm feeling good," Sharp told Blackhawks television analyst Eddie Olczyk as his teammates began the first practice of the season. "I'm lucky we have such great doctors. Wish I could get out here with the guys right now."

Sharp was having stomach pains at a team golf outing before heading to the hospital to get checked out. He was operated on immediately. His recovery is expected to take about a month.

"As soon as possible," Sharp said. "The timeline is three to four weeks. I don't want to miss any games so I'm pushing to play in that first game of the season."

The Blackhawks began training camp Saturday and open the season Oct. 7 in Dallas.

Sharp led the team with 34 goals and had a career-high 71 points last season.

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.