Henrik Lundqvist returns to ice for first time since heart surgery

USATSI

Washington Capitals goaltender Henrik Lundqvist posted a video on Twitter Tuesday showing his return to the ice following heart surgery. Just weeks ago, the NHL star had an operation to help take care of a heart condition. Lundqvist posted the video of him blocking shots with the caption, “The best type of workday!” and added a smile emoji to show how happy he is to be back on ice for the first time since at least January, when the surgery was scheduled.

The surgery was for an aortic valve replacement, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement and took five hours to “get it all taken care of,” the goalie said in his own words.

He seemed optimistic in his January update, saying, “Last few days has been pretty crazy but feel like I’m in really good hands. Every day is a step in the right direction.”

For someone who spends a significant amount of their time on the ice, Lundqvist has admitted how hard it has been to stay away, but noted resting and removing himself from hockey for a bit is what he and the doctors believed was best for his health at the time.

In December, the 38-year-old announced he would not play in the 2021 NHL season due to the recently discovered heart condition. Lundqvist said he needed many tests and conversations with specialists to ultimately get to the point of a decision on the next steps forward, which were time off from hockey and heart surgery.

Now that the surgery is behind him, Lundqvist seems optimistic and determined to get back to an NHL game, with time on the ice being the first step.

He signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Capitals in October, after spending the first 15 seasons of his career with the New York Rangers.