Rangers star forward Mika Zibanejad revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19 prior to training camp and that’s why he was unable to participate in the first handful of days.
“I tested positive, so I was out for a certain amount of days and been going through and sticking to protocol,” the top-line center said following his first full practice with the team Monday. “Been skating on my own and now first real skate with the team, so it felt good.”
Throughout camp, head coach David Quinn has maintained his confidence that Zibanejad would be ready to go by Thursday’s opener against the Islanders at Madison Square Garden, but the 27-year-old Swede wouldn’t confirm whether he’ll be ready.
Zibanejad, who is entering his fifth season on Broadway, added that he’s feeling good now and is taking things day by day, while also consulting with doctors.
“I’ve been in talks and having conversations on a daily basis with the doctors, the training staff here and everyone,” he said. “All I can say is I feel good now and [I’m] just really excited to be back on the ice and be back out there with the team again. Just looking forward to getting this going.”
Behind only Artemi Panarin, Zibanejad accumulated the team’s second-highest point total with 41 goals and 34 assists in 57 games last season. He was back centering the Rangers’ first line Monday, alongside Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich.