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Return comes weeks in advance

Updated: January 30, 2004, 12:02 AM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Dany Heatley's quick return to the ice couldn't have come at a better time for the Atlanta Thrashers.

The star right wing played Wednesday night for the first time since surviving a car wreck in September that killed teammate Dan Snyder and left Heatley with serious injuries.

His return against St. Louis at home capped a recovery from two torn knee ligaments and a broken jaw. He had surgery in October to repair the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments ...

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