Markov's setback casts pall over camp

The health of defenceman Andrei Markov is the No. 1 concern as the Canadiens gather at their training facility in Brossard on Friday for the start of their main training camp.

Physicals and fitness testing are on the schedule for Day One and a setback in his rehabilitation from knee surgery will limit Markov’s participation when the players hit the ice Sunday.

Markov, who underwent his second major ACL reconstruction on his right knee in December, skated on his own in Brossard on Thursday and it was obvious that he’s far from 100 per cent.

General manager Pierre Gauthier acknowledged as much when he addressed the media at the team’s golf tournament Wednesday, but he put on optimistic spin on the situation while preaching patience.

“It’s always a risk when you sign older players, first, and it’s a bigger risk when you sign older players who have had injuries,” said Gauthier, who gave Markov a threeyear deal worth $17.5 million. “But you evaluate that as a calculated risk, and you also evaluate what your options are. In the case of Mr. Markov, he’s such a professional, such a hard working person,” Gauthier added.

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