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Three months after the back operation, Detroit Red Wings striker Tyler Bertuzzi is skating again, training off the ice, feeling fine and looking forward to being ready for the start of training camp in Traverse City.

“I never thought I’d say I was looking forward to training camp, but I am,” Bertuzzi said on Saturday after signing a two-year extension worth $ 4.75 million per season.

A promising start to the 2021 season (five goals and seven points in nine games) soon resulted in pain and frustration from back pain. After recovery and rehab and several attempts to get back on the ice, Bertuzzi finally underwent the procedure on April 30th.

“Last year was very tough physically and mentally, I just had pain every day,” said Bertuzzi, 26.

“I trained, skated, it would flare up again. I think surgery was the right game and I’m feeling really good right now. I am very happy with how it went and the decision we made. … Just go back to normal life, do everything, train, skate. “

The rehab is proceeding as planned without any setbacks. He’s been touring with Dylan Larkin, among others, who is expected to be ready to start the camp after a neck injury in the late season.

“I’m just going to keep doing what I do, not trying to push it, I’ll come back slowly and get better and stronger in the gym,” he said. “I don’t want to get too aggressive with it.”

Bertuzzi is also happy to have a contract soon after going through arbitration last year, which is rare for this organization.

“It happened relatively quickly, there wasn’t much going back and forth,” said Bertuzzi. “Once it was a little level ground it was easy (agree).

“I think it works well for both sides. After a back injury, I have time to come back, prove myself and make sure everything is fine and as healthy as possible. “

Bertuzzi is excited about the club’s off-season additions, including Center Pius Suter, a junior hockey teammate of his, and Robby Fabbri at OHL Guelph from 2013 to 2015.

“It’s good to play with him again,” said Bertuzzi. “He had a great season in his first year (in the NHL, with Chicago) last year. He’s also a center man, that adds a lot to the team.

“Some good players are coming. I spoke to Larks and Fabbs yesterday. We are all really looking forward to this year. “

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