Peter Forsberg works out in Denver
Shortly before 8 a.m. local time, Forsberg, 37, stepped onto the ice at Pepsi Center, sporting a gray Avalanche practice jersey.
The Swedish star has not played an NHL game since the 2008 playoffs, when he returned to Colorado as a free agent, but he has come back to North America to test his chronically injured foot and his overall conditioning to see if he has enough left for one more run at the NHL.
"I thought it was better to try out and skate with the best players and I got the opportunity to come over here and skate with this team. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can play in this league anymore, if I'm good enough and if everything holds up," Forsberg said after his first workout.
Burnside: Forsberg's practice session? We smell a comeback
You can't gauge too much from just one practice, but Peter Forsberg's return to the ice Saturday had comeback written all over it. Blog
Because the Avalanche were scheduled to play an early afternoon game Saturday against Boston, there wasn't a full morning skate. So Forsberg skated with assistant coach Steve Konowalchuk, taking and giving passes and doing skating drills. Later, injured Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly -- who is 20 years old -- joined the two to work on a variety of drills.
Forsberg, who has been working out with a junior team in his native Sweden and got to Denver Friday evening, spent 47 minutes on the ice. He admitted he was a bit tired by the time Saturday morning rolled around.
"I have to say I was very nervous. There were a lot of cameras and I didn't want to fall down in the first practice," he said. He has managed to be productive while grinding through chronic foot problems -- which led to other injuries such as groin strains that have plagued him for the past seven years.
Forsberg estimated the number of surgeries he's had on his foot in the "double digits," but hasn't had one recently.
"The foot is definitely better, but I don't know how good it is. But I'm not young anymore, I'm past the average. I want to see where I'm at," Forsberg said.
When Forsberg can determine whether he can still play remains uncertain.
"Not a day or not a month. I don't think I have time for months. I don't know exactly though," Forsberg said
"I don't know long it's going to take to really get in game shape but it's going to be exciting," Forsberg added.
One thing that does seem certain is that if Forsberg can't make a go of it this time around his career is likely over.
"I'm not getting younger so I don't think it's going to be too many more chances. I don't think I can do this again. I think this might be the last one. And I hope it feels good so we don't have to stand here again," Forsberg said.
Unlike other players who started the season overseas -- such as Evgeni Nabokov, Kyle Wellwood and Marek Svatos, all of whom were then exposed on the waiver wire after signing with NHL clubs in recent weeks, per CBA rules -- Forsberg would be free to sign with any club he chooses because he has not played this season.
It is clear he would be happy to sign with the Avalanche.
"I would not mind, no," he said.
Forsberg, along with Hall of Famer Patrick Roy and former longtime captain Joe Sakic, was the face of a franchise that won Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001, and advanced to at least the Western Conference final in six of seven years, from 1996 to 2002.
Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said Saturday he didn't believe having Forsberg work out with the team would be a distraction.
As for tendering a contract -- all in good time.
"We haven't even gone down that path yet," Sherman said. "We're going to see how this week goes, how the next couple of days go. At the appropriate time we'll address that."
Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.
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