Lemieux, 38, missed most of two seasons hurt

Updated: August 3, 2004, 9:51 PM ET
Associated Press

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. -- Pittsburgh Penguins officials say Mario Lemieux is in the best shape of his career more than a month before training camp starts.

Mario Lemieux

Lemieux declined comment during a Penguins alumni golf outing yesterday, but personal trainer Jay Caufield said Lemieux has never worked harder during an offseason. Caufield is a former Penguins player who has helped with Lemieux's conditioning since the owner-player ended a 44-month retirement in December 2000.

Lemieux weighs about 230 pounds, or nearly 20 pounds less than he did when he resumed his playing career.

Lemieux, who will be 39 in October, has missed most of two seasons with hip-related injuries.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press