Russian hockey star Evgeni Malkin. (CPimages/AP-Keith Srakocic)
Malkin, the No. 2 pick in the 2004 NHL draft, dislocated his shoulder Sept. 20 after colliding with teammate John LeClair behind the net. He returned to practice Friday with a shoulder support and has been cleared to resume playing.
"I'm a little bit nervous before every game, but I'm not going to be too much more nervous before the first one," Malkin said through a translator after practice Monday. "But we will see how it goes."
In 2005-06, Malkin had 47 points in 46 games for Magnitogorsk in the Russian Super League and six points in seven games for Russia at the Turin Olympics. He left the Magnitogorsk team when it arrived for training camp in Finland in August and made his way secretly to the United States, where he signed with the Penguins.
Prior to joining the Penguins, Malkin was widely considered the best player in the world not in the NHL. He is an excellent passer and playmaker and made several standout plays in the exhibition game before getting hurt.